Milton Keynes MP Calls For Greater Emphasis On Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships offer young people the opportunity to make a strong start to theirATG_apprentice_200214 career and vocational qualifications should be given greater emphasis, according to Milton Keynes MP Iain Stewart. For quite a while now, it has been clear that university is not the right choice for all school leavers and they should be provided with information about all the alternatives out there, Stewart said.

The local MP made his comments after touring the Milton Keynes-based National Learning Centre of Volkswagen Group, Business MK reported. The establishment serves as a training base for more than 740 apprentices and prepares VW workers from all over the country. During his visit, Stewart talked to apprentices enrolled in the Advanced Apprenticeship Programme. He was told that 90% on average complete the programme and nearly every successful apprentice gets a job offer from the company.

Stewart said that VW’s apprenticeship programme was an example of what vocational training can offer. Motivated and ambitious young people have too long been led to believe that their only choice is university if they want professional recognition. This is obviously not the case, so young Britons should be familiar with the alternatives. Stewart expressed hope that the promotion of apprenticeships would be given greater focus in the years ahead.

David Sterling, who is in charge of learning services at the VW centre, said that the facility trained more than 20,000 retail staff members every year, apprentices included. The comments made by Stewart come as very welcome recognition for the work done at the centre and the achievements of the apprentices, Sterling added.

[Facebook] [LinkedIn] [MySpace] [Propeller] [Reddit] [Twitter] [Windows Live]

HLAs Draw Ambitious School Leavers

People generally assume that the cream of the school-leaving crop will head towardsATG Training Apprentices university, putting in a few more years of study to obtain a degree. However, a growing number of school leavers are opting instead for an apprenticeship, not least because of the increase in tuition fees, the Guardian reports.

But tuition costs are only part of the reason for this choice. More school leavers are coming to realise that an apprenticeship, especially a higher level apprenticeship (HLA), can be just as useful as a degree, sometimes more so. Students going for HLAs get the equivalent of degree-level qualifications and invaluable work experience in addition to earning money during their training.

Sophie Dalby is one of the academic high-flyers who have chosen an apprenticeship over university. She received offers from five universities but decided to take up an accountancy apprenticeship. As Sophie told the Guardian, she will be fully qualified by the age of 23 and will not have the burden of fees. In addition, she will be acquiring skills that are in demand by employers.

The government has put apprenticeships high on its agenda and invested some £1.5 billion in various initiatives during the past year alone. This has created more opportunities for young Britons and the choice of sectors keeps rising. In 2012 the number of HLAs on offer shot up to 3,700, an increase of 67.5% from the prior year. This year school leavers will be able to choose from HLAs across 41 subject areas, the Guardian added.

 

[Facebook] [LinkedIn] [MySpace] [Propeller] [Reddit] [Twitter] [Windows Live]

Potential Apprentices To Get Help From New Search Tool

Young Britons looking to enter vocational training will have their quest for opportunities madeATG_youngperson_240513 easier by an online search facility that the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) is currently developing, FE Week has reported.

The announcement was made on Tuesday by Vic Grimes, NAS apprenticeship director for London and the South East. Addressing the audience at a training provider forum, Grimes said that the service would go live soon, offering a database of providers and available apprenticeships.

The search tool comes in response to the Holt Review conducted last year. Undertaken by entrepreneur Jason Holt, it made a number of recommendations designed to ease access to apprenticeships. Among those recommendations was the development of an online search facility allowing employers to find quality training providers. This was suggested as part of a broader aim to facilitate the entry of small companies to the apprenticeship arena. With a database of providers and opportunities readily available for search, young people considering the apprenticeship route will be greatly assisted in their undertaking.

Grimes went on to tell his audience that the government had “huge ambitions” with regard to apprenticeships. Last year the number of apprenticeship starts reached 500,000 and the goal is to have that lifted to 520,000 this year. The coalition is betting heavily on apprenticeships, putting them at the centre of its economic growth strategy. The plan is to support 3.8 million apprenticeships over the decade ahead, which is expected to deliver huge benefits to the UK economy. According to recent research, the gain will amount to £3.4 billion, Grimes pointed out.

[Facebook] [LinkedIn] [MySpace] [Propeller] [Reddit] [Twitter] [Windows Live]

IET Launches New Apprentice Award

Later this year, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) will celebrate

ATG Apprentices awards

ATG Apprentices awards

the contribution of apprentices and technicians to the advancement of the engineering and technology sectors. This will be done through the newly launched IET Apprentice and Technician of the Year Awards. The winners will be announced on 20 November during the IET Achievement Awards Ceremony. Those wishing to compete for the honour have until the end of this month to submit their applications.

In the case of apprentices, the award will go either to an individual or a team comprising up to five apprentices. One condition is that the person or people need to be in at least their second year of an apprenticeship scheme approved by the IET. The applicants also need to be progressing well on their road to apprenticeship qualifications and to have contributed significantly to the business of their employer or area. This contribution will be documented in a report that has to accompany the application. Candidates also have to provide an endorsement statement from their employer or scheme coordinator.

The prize combines a certificate, a cash payment of £1,000 and two years’ free IET membership. If the apprenticeship award goes to a team, the cash prize should be shared equally among the apprentices.

ATG_award_160513The IET will also honour exceptional contributions and achievements by technicians. Nominations will be made in two categories: “Technician of the Year” and “Armed Forces Technician of the Year.” To be eligible, applicants in the second category must be serving members of the UK Armed Forces.

[Facebook] [LinkedIn] [MySpace] [Propeller] [Reddit] [Twitter] [Windows Live]

Retail Sector Employers Invited To Express Views On Apprenticeship Reforms

Skillsmart Retail UK and the National Skills Academy for Retail (NSAR) have invited retailRetail Apprentices sector employers to a consultation event that will take place on 17 May in London. The two organisations are looking for views and suggestions on what apprenticeships in the sector should entail and how they should be delivered.

The event constitutes a response to the UK government’s request for employer feedback on how to implement recommended reforms. The changes proposed by the government followed last year’s publication of the Richard Review of apprenticeships and their future. Embracing the suggestions put forward in the report, the government will focus on placing greater control in the hands of employers and making sure that apprenticeships follow rigorous standards and reflect employers’ needs.

While Skillsmart Retail UK will seek opinions on every aspect of apprenticeship content and delivery, it is most interested in understanding what apprenticeship design would work best to meet the needs of retail sector employers. Cara Taylor, who serves as apprenticeship manager at the organisation, said that the planned reforms were likely to have a major effect on retail apprenticeships and Skillsmart Retail UK wanted to give companies the opportunity to make their voices heard. Through other work Skillsmart Retail UK is doing and through its partnership with the NSAR, the organisation aims to transform the development and delivery of apprenticeships in the sector, Taylor added.

Retail is a critical sector of the UK economy and retail apprenticeships remain on the rise. In 2012, more than 20,000 people completed apprenticeship programmes in the sector.

[Facebook] [LinkedIn] [MySpace] [Propeller] [Reddit] [Twitter] [Windows Live]