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The Corporation

Posted: 16/03/16

Vision for Jobs – College and Chad launch apprenticeship campaign

This week (14-18 March) is National Apprenticeship Week – an annual celebration of the positive impact apprenticeships have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.

  • Chad editor Jon Ball launches Vision for Jobs with (left) head of employer engagement Faye Boucher and head of partnerships Steve Cressey, and (right) director of employer engagement Sacha McCarthy and Vision Apprentices manager Stevie Wray-Marriott.
  • Apprentice electrician Adam Smith (left) with managing director Russell Booth.
  • Apprentice Adam Smith is learning the full range of electrical work.
  • Respectful Care co-founder Mark Docherty with apprentices Rochelle North (left) and Kerry Peters (right).
  • Apprentices Kerry Peters (left) and Rochelle North are combining vocational learning with practical work experience.

To mark this, we’ve teamed up with the Chad newspaper to urge more employers across Mansfield and Ashfield to take on an apprentice – whether to fill a current vacancy or re-train an existing employee.

Called ‘Vision for Jobs’, the campaign aims to boost business – and the local economy – by giving more people the chance to earn a wage while gaining the skills for a successful career.

Jon Ball, the Chad's head of content, said: “As a campaigning newspaper, we’re proud to join forces with the college to encourage more employers in Mansfield and Ashfield to get behind apprenticeships.

“Our communities’ prosperity relies on businesses across a range of industries having a skilled workforce, whether a small firm or major employer.

“With an ageing workforce and significant skills shortages, many businesses are looking towards apprenticeships to help them ‘grow their own’.

"We urging more businesses to do the same.”

Over the next four years the government will pump an extra £3 billion into apprenticeships through an ‘apprenticeship levy’ on major employers, while introducing incentives for firms who employ apprentices under the age of 25.

Companies may qualify for a £1,500 apprenticeship grant if they have fewer than 50 employees and their apprentices are aged 16 to 24.

Meanwhile, from April this year, employers will no longer be required to pay National Insurance contributions for apprentices under-25.

The government is also putting businesses in the driving seat through new ‘employer-led’ national standards to ensure apprenticeships deliver the skills they need.

Around 250,000 employers across the UK – and 24,500 in the East Midlands – are already seeing the benefits of apprenticeships, which enable workers to get on-the-job experience while studying a vocational qualification.

They go all the way up to degree-level and can be for new or current employees. Benefits range from improved productivity to increased staff retention.

Sacha McCarthy, the college’s director of employer engagement and business development, said: “An apprentice doesn’t have to be a new recruit or start in a junior position – they can be any age and can fill skills gaps at any level in an organisation. They can even be existing employees that businesses want to re-train.

“We train very successful apprentices working in management positions, as well as the traditional school-leavers just starting out in their careers.

“We’re encouraging employers to talk to us about how apprenticeships can fit into their plans. We work with over 2,000 employers – many of them local – and overwhelmingly they tell us about the positive impact apprentices have had on their business’s success.”

West Nottinghamshire College is well-placed to support businesses with their apprentice recruitment or training. With more than 12,000 apprentices across the country, it is one of the largest and most successful providers nationally.

The college’s business arm, Vision Apprentices, delivers more than a third of apprenticeships across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

It offers a full service to employers – from recruiting apprentices on their behalf, to employing them directly and ‘hiring’ them out to the business. Since its launch in 2010, Vision Apprentices has worked with hundreds of local businesses; helping place almost 3,000 young people into work.

Our campaign is backed by the East Midlands Chamber, whose chief executive Scott Knowles said: “Apprentices play a vital role in helping businesses to develop the skills, knowledge and experience they need to grow and prosper.  

“Campaigns such as this are a great way of raising awareness of apprenticeships among employers, young adults and their parents.”

If you think apprenticeships could benefit your business, contact Vision Apprentices on 01623 413619 or email apprenticeships@wnc.ac.uk

Did you know?

  • West Nottinghamshire College delivered 12,717 apprenticeships in 2014/15
  • Of these, 98% secured permanent jobs or progressed to the next level of study
  • The college’s apprenticeship success rates are in the top 10% nationally

Here we discover how apprenticeships are benefitting two local employers...

RJ Booth Services Limited managing director Russell Booth is a big believer in apprenticeships, having started as an apprentice himself almost 30 years ago. Now, as the founder of his own company, he’s continuing to invest in new talent. Read full story here

Co-chief executive of Respectful Care Mark Docherty says apprenticeships are creating the highly-skilled workforce the home-care sector needs. The company currently has 12 apprentices, who are gaining the practical experience and formal qualifications to deliver the best possible service to clients. Read full story here.