The Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning John Hayes and Executive Chairman Simon Waugh from the National Apprenticeship Service met with 23 employers who hold some of the largest government contracts and urged them to recruit more apprentices.
The breakfast event took place at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills as part of National Apprenticeship Week, running Monday 7 to Friday 11 February. Senior representatives attended the round table event from organisations including KPMG, Serco, CapGemini, Atos International, Balfour Beatty, Tribal Group PLC, Accenture, Babcock International Group PLC, Capita, Carillion, Siemens, Xerox and Hewlett Packard. Many of the employers were interested in taking on more apprentices and were keen to learn how to.
Discussions focused on how Apprenticeship programmes benefit businesses. Research has shown that apprentices increase productivity and efficiency. 80 percent of those who employ apprentices agree that they make the workplace more productive and 83 percent rely on their Apprenticeships programme to provide the skilled workers that they need for the future.
Skills Minister John Hayes said “We are raising investment in Apprenticeships to £1.4 bn because they are good for young people, good for growth and good for employers, including the thousands of firms with which we do business. We are committed to working with our public sector partners, our private sector contractors and their supply chains to make sure that they get the message that if they work with us to invest in skills, they will get ahead”.
Executive Chairman of the National Apprenticeship Service, Simon Waugh said “Apprenticeship programmes can bring added value and productivity to companies across all industry sectors. Often large employers do not realise there are Apprenticeships suitable for hundreds of job roles enabling apprentices to be employed across their business from finance, administration and HR to customer service and other specialist areas.”
The government has already committed to increasing the budget for Apprenticeships to over £1.4 billion in 2011-12 as the uptake in Apprenticeships continues to rise. The Week has also seen many high profile large employers announce their Apprenticeship recruitment plans for 2011 including British Airways, Proctor and Gamble, British Gas and Morrisons. This morning, sports car maker Ferrari added to this list of prestigious companies announcing all their dealerships will now offer Apprenticeships.
Figures released recently also showed that record levels of people started on an Apprenticeship last year with 279,700 choosing this route to start their career. Hundreds of events organised by employers, learning providers and skills organisations are taking place over Apprenticeship Week to celebrate Apprenticeships across England and Wales.
14 February 2011
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