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The Corporation

Posted: 25/01/10

Showcasing the benefits of apprenticeships

West Nottinghamshire College is celebrating National Apprenticeship Week with a series of events and activities that showcase the importance of apprenticeships.

Apprenticeship Week (1-5 February) is organised by the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) and will see colleges, employers, providers, learners and stakeholders joining forces to highlight the benefits of employing apprentices.

In addition to a national programme of events, there are regional and local activities taking place across the country.

On Tuesday 2 February, East Midlands Tourism’s investment manager, Claire Lambert, will be going ‘back to the floor’ at Center Parcs Sherwood Forest to work with apprentice chefs that are trained by the college.

The college’s employer engagement team delivers the entire apprenticeship scheme and NVQ training programme across Center Parcs’ four UK holiday villages and head office in New Ollerton, Nottinghamshire. Apprenticeships at Center Parcs span retail, leisure, food, hospitality and customer services and the framework includes technical certificates, NVQs and key skills.

On Thursday 4 February the college’s health and social care team is staging an event in conjunction with NAS and Skills for Care, the sector’s leading professional body, to highlight apprenticeship opportunities in the industry. It takes place from 10am - 1pm at City and Guilds’ East Midlands centre, at Swanwick Court, Wick Island, Alfreton, Derbyshire.

Aimed at local health and social care employers, the event will showcase the college’s health and social care training and demonstrate how apprentices can help businesses to grow. The college trains over 35 apprentices in the Nottinghamshire care industry and has seen a rise in enrolments this year.

Later that day (4 February), between 4.30pm and 7.30pm, the college is holding an open evening at its Derby Road site in Mansfield, where prospective students, parents and businesses can learn more about apprenticeships, including the range of subjects available and what being an apprentice involves.  

People attending can also learn more about the college’s plans to recruit 1,500 apprentices over the next two years by setting up a Group Training Association (GTA) to help employers deliver long-term apprenticeship placements for 16-18 year-olds. The college is one of only 12 organisations nationally to receive a share of £7 million of Government funding to set up opportunities for apprentices and businesses in their areas.

Graham Howe, director of employer engagement at West Nottinghamshire College, said: “Apprenticeship schemes bring major benefits to employers, business and the economy as a whole. They equip young people with the skills to succeed and give businesses a highly-skilled workforce, which boosts productivity and improves staff retention.

“As one of the largest providers of apprenticeship training in the East Midlands, we’re proud to be backing Apprenticeships Week as we focus on creating even more employment and training opportunities for young people.”

West Nottinghamshire College supports more than 1,100 apprentices aged 16 and over and has an 85% achievement rate across all apprenticeship programmes – one of the highest in Nottinghamshire.