Our websites

West Nottinghamshire College Group operates a number of websites that support our growing business.

The Corporation

Posted: 09/03/11

College leading the way in Apprenticeship drive

West Nottinghamshire College is “at the forefront of the Government’s Apprenticeship agenda”, according to a leading figure at the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS).

David Way, chief operating officer at NAS, visited the college to learn about its innovative approaches to boosting Apprenticeship opportunities.

His visit focused on the college’s Vision Apprentices recruitment service; one of only 15 Apprenticeship Training Associations (ATAs) across the country – and the only one in Nottinghamshire – set up with Government investment.

ATAs are companies or partnerships acting as recruitment services that place apprentices with ‘host’ employers.  A concept first devised in Australia, they offer firms greater flexibility than employing trainees directly.

Mr Way praised the college for responding positively to the Government’s renewed focus on Apprenticeships.  He said: “It’s clear West Nottinghamshire College has a very good and well-deserved reputation. It is providing excellence in Apprenticeships for local people and employers, as well as regionally and nationally. 

“The college really is at the forefront of the Government’s Apprenticeship agenda and its work in helping young people to achieve is producing great results.  It’s good to see the college succeeding in this way.”

Mr Way met with the college’s principal and chief executive Asha Khemka OBE, director of employer engagement and managing director of Vision Apprentices Graham Howe, and employers who currently use Vision Apprentices to recruit their trainees, during his visit last week (4 March).

Wayne Chawner, operations manager at Doncaster-based Trackwork, specialist railway engineers and a national training organisation to the rail industry, said: “Vision Apprentices has proved invaluable in taking the guesswork out of recruiting the right candidate.  It conducts the interviews and helps us identify learners’ future developmental needs so that we can build this into the Apprenticeship.

“As a family-run company we enjoy growing our own staff and Vision Apprentices is helping us to get the right people into the right jobs.”

Steve Diksa, safety director at Nottingham-based Bridgeway Consulting, one of the UK’s leading railway infrastructure and asset management contractors, said:  “As an employer in the rail industry it’s vital to secure young apprentices in a sector which generally has an ageing workforce.

“Vision Apprentices has provided us with ‘work-ready’ apprentices and has saved us time on the recruitment process, which means we can spend more time developing our staff.”

Asha Khemka OBE, principal and chief executive of the college, said:  “To have somebody of David’s national standing and experience visit the college and praise our approach to increasing Apprenticeship opportunities is a major boost.

“We believe Apprenticeships are vital for businesses investing in their workforce and for investing in new talent.”