Apprentice Electrician Challenges Gender Stereotypes

For all the progress our society has made in breaking down gender barriers and ATG_tools_130813stereotypes, many people can’t help but think of some professions as a male domain. Women are still a rare sight among construction workers, plumbers and electricians and one young lady would like to see that change for good. Apprentice electrician Sophie Bingham is convinced that girls can do anything they choose and the opportunities are there, waiting to be taken. As an apprenticeship ambassador, the 20-year-old Welling resident is especially keen to spread the word among women and bring more of them into manual trades.

Sophie welcomed the opportunity to become an apprentice ambassador and promote trades among young women, the Bexley Times reported. She is full of praise for the scheme, which involves touring schools and talking to young people about the benefits of doing an apprenticeship. Part of her agenda includes persuading girls that their gender is no obstacle to becoming an electrician, a plumber or a carpenter. According to Sophie, targeting schools is the right move because students, girls in particular, are not presented with all options and trades rarely come up in career conversations. As things stand now, youngsters are typically encouraged to pursue a university degree regardless of whether it is the right thing for them, she says.

Sophie goes on to note that sites offer plenty of opportunities for women and they simply need to grab them. It can be harder than following an academic route because it involves working and studying at the same time. What many people fail to realise is that strength has only a small part to play: being an electrician is something that requires a lot of skill and that can be acquired through an apprenticeship.

 

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UK Apprenticeships Starts Top 500,000 In 2011/12

During the academic year 2011/2012 UK apprenticeship starts exceeded half a million, registering an increase of 13.9% compared to the year before and showing growth of 86.1% since 2009/2010.

Figures published last week by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills show that 520,600 Britons embarked on an apprenticeship in 2011/2012. A year earlier the number was 457,200, which in turn represented a massive increase on the 279,700 apprenticeship starts recorded in 2009/2010.

Commenting on the latest data, Business Secretary Vince Cable noted that his conversations with business leaders always touched on the subject of the shortage of skilled labour. The new statistics constitute an encouraging sign that the government’s efforts are beginning to bear fruit. Having more than a half a million people sign up for an apprenticeship is evidence that investment in vocational skills is the right course of action.

Cable expressed particular satisfaction at the solid growth in engineering apprenticeship starts, which increased by 21.5% to reach 59,480. He pointed out that the UK was in dire need of more engineering talent and had to address the problem without delay so as to secure the future of its manufacturing, exports and infrastructure.

A break-down of the new figures by level reveals that the biggest increase was achieved in higher apprenticeships, where growth amounted to an impressive 67.6%. This means that the number of people enrolling in such apprenticeship programmes jumped from 2,200 in 2010/2011 to 3,700 in 2011/2012. In the case of advanced level apprenticeships, starts rose from 153,900 to 187,900, which translates into an increase of 22.1%. At the intermediate level, the number went up from 301,100 to 329,000, or by 9.3%.

ATG Training is well placed to provide the quality Apprenticeship training employers need to fill the talent gap identified by Business Secretary Vince Cable. With over 45 year track record in providing Engineering Apprentices and Government backing Employers can feel confident that their Apprentices will grow and develop into valuable members of staff.

More information and contact details can be found here: http://ukapprenticeships.com/engineeringapprenticeships.html 

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Smartphone App

The new ATG Training i-phone app is now available from the i-tunes market. Just search ATG Training and you will find it. Smartphone App home page screen
Alternatively follow this link.http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/atg-training/id558805801?mt=8
The app features
•         Part of a bike
•         Cytech Training course information http://cycletraining.co
•         120 question quiz, broken into 10 random questions bite sized peices
•         Google maps of the training venues
•         Our social media pages
•         Contact information with direct phone and emails from the app 
It is free to download. An Android version will shortly be available too for those of you who have that technology.

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Recruit a New Apprentice and claim £1,500 Government Grant

Apprentices deliver real value to businesses and there has never been a better time to recruit than now, when the Government are offering a £1,500 Grant to employers Apprenticeship Grant for Employerswho recruit new apprentices. 

As the employer you are able torecieve the first part of the Grant of £750 at the 8 week stage of the Apprenticeship, with the second £750 when the apprentice has completed 12 months of their Apprenticeship.

As you would expect there are some eligibility criteria to meet before you can take advantage of this Grant, however we will jump through the administration hoops for you. Call us on 0845 894 9530 for more information.

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London Bike Show – Free Prize Draw Winners

The London Bike Show returned bigger and better than ever for its second year at the ExCel, London.

There was a much larger bike presence than the previous year, with the cycle’s area dominating a whole hall.

The ACT were at the show to promote WorkRiders, the new cycling to work programme, and ATG Training, ActSmart’s partner Cytech provider.

The ACT partnered with the London Bike Show to support the Cycling Stage which was host to Cytech demonstrations delivered by ATG Training, guest speakers and auctions throughout the four day show.

 
Cytech Technical Advice ActSmart’s runner up Partner of the Year 2011, and Cytech Training Providers, ATG Training were on hand at the Cycling Stage to offer technical advice and carry out demonstrations. The demos were a huge success with crowds gathering to learn about everything from preparing your bike for commuting to truing a wheel.

 After watching Cytech demos, visitors were glad to learn that it has never been easier to get qualified as a cycle mechanic, with Cytech Technical One Theory now available completely online, and until the end of February, with 50% off the price.

The interest in Cytech courses was evident through ATG’s prize draw to win home mechanic gear, with over 1000 entries received. 

Of all the completed entries received the first to be drawn by the independent adjudicator was:

Mr David Coxhead. Proprietor, Bristows Cycles

David wins the Wheel Truing stand 

Park Tools

Park Tools Wheel truing stand

Next to be drawn was:

Mr Robin Warr
from Greenich – London
Robin wins the Advanced Park Tools mechanic kit

Park Tools Advanced Mechanic Tool Kit

Park Tools Advanced Mechanic Tool Kit

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Congratulations to both Messrs Coxhead and Warr. 

If you have not won a prize don’t be sad, there is much to be gained from attending a Cytech course at one of ATG Training’s world class cycle workshops. Course dates and venues can be found here www.cycletraining.co

Thanks to all of you who entered.

 
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Apprentices provide better income for businesses

Chief Executive Ian Harper was recently asked to comment on the youth unemployment figures by the BBC and Independent radio stations across the country.

The media were keen to counterpoint the potentially gloomy figures with the success story of Apprenticeships, especially in light of the UK Government’s support for vocational training in general. ATG Training were approached to provide depth to the story.

The link below is to the BBC Oxford interview which aired during the evening drive time during December 2011.

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Thank you

Welcome to ATG Training and thank you for visiting us today. If you are a new visitor, we hope you can find the information you are seeking. If your are a returning visitor you will notice a few changes to the site, which we hope you like. Over the coming weeks futher enhancements are due, so please come back from time to time to see the updates.

We now have dedicated sites for all the different markets. So those of you who have been following our cycle news, there is a new home for this at http://cycletraining.co/news/. Save this address to follow and contibute to the cycle industry.

We would love to hear your opinions so please use the feed back forms on the site to let us know what you think.

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“Hangout” with Google+ and YouTube

YouTube and Google have gone live with their “Google+ Hangout” feature.

The Hangout feature allows you to chat and share videos with your Circles. To do this:

• Search for the video you wish to share on YouTube
• Select “Share”
• Select “Start a Google+ Hangout”
• Share with your Circle

Searching for an Apprenticeship? www.atgapprenticeships.com

Search for training?
www.atg-training.co.uk

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Good employer engagement

Ian Harper - CEO ATG Training

Ian Harper

“It is vital to listen to employers and be able to adapt to their business needs. Commercial timescales can be unforgiving, so training programmes need to match them. The company needs to respond quickly when new opportunities present themselves, but it mustn’t sacrifice quality to get the business. However, it’s not enough to have responsive programmes. You must make sure that employers know what you are doing and are included in the success of their employees.”

Advice for others? “We used to assume that if we did a good job, businesses would use our training again. Stay in constant touch if you want repeat business.”

Ian Harper, Chief Executive of ATG Training

 

The good practice in detail


The recent inspection report praised ATG Training for its flexibility and responsiveness: “Programmes are flexible and effectively tailored to employers’ requirements. Cycle maintenance has excellent industrial links to major manufacturers, distributors, retail employers, and the awarding body, which provide learners with state-of-the-art materials and techniques and relevant, flexible qualifications. Childcare, retail and warehousing assessors accommodate shift patterns and business pressures well.” ‘Employer Journey’ provides a good overview of the company’s approach to employer engagement.

Providing accreditation for cycle mechanics with state-of-the-art equipment

Cytech training specialist

Mat Clark. ATG Training cycle mechanic training instructor

The ‘CYTECH’ programme was started by the Association of Cycle Traders, to provide a licence to practice for cycle mechanics. When they needed a partner to roll out the programme nationally, ATG Training  worked with them to integrate the certificate into a bespoke NVQ framework, providing funded accreditation and recognition for hundreds of otherwise-excluded learners all over the country.

Martin works in a specialist cycle shop in Salisbury and has a passion for bikes: “ATG Training  has really good equipment and the staff are very knowledgeable. I’m sure the CYTECH qualification and the NVQ will help my career”, he says. “I’ve learned such a lot on this course, and I’m determined to go on to Level 3 next.”

Matt - Cycle Apprentice

Matt - Cycle Apprentice

As the Business Development and Engagement Consultant for the Buckinghamshire Education Business Partnership, Vanessa King knows ATG well. She is impressed by their responsiveness and flexibility. “They listen to employers and adapt programmes to fit their needs”, she says. “They’re very flexible. Traditionally, when employers have asked us about apprenticeships, we have directed them to ATG because we know, from experience, that ATG will lead them through the process with clear explanations and minimum disruption. They make it easy for employees to gain a qualification.”

Training cycle mechanics for Tesco

Organising courses is straightforward when you control the timescale, but major employers like Tesco work to tight deadlines. ATG’s unique position within the cycle industry made it the first choice for Tesco when they needed training to start specialist cycle shops in their larger stores.

 
So, how did ATG change its way of working to meet Tesco’s needs?
 

Tescos cycles store

Tescos cycles store

“At Tesco, we are always looking for ways to serve our customers better”, says Vicky Wellings, the Technical Manager (Leisure). “The only choice we could offer for those purchasing a bike was a self-assembly option. We realised we needed to extend this offer, so we approached ATG to help us to train our staff to assemble bikes to the required safety standards. ATG staff are extremely flexible, helpful and friendly. They provided invaluable technical advice about setting up the courses which are delivered on our site. That is very important as our staff often have family responsibilities which would prevent them from staying away on a residential course. Sometimes our timescales are unpredictable and ATG Training change schedules to suit our commercial pressures. The staff enjoy their training and it’s enabled us to start our rolling programme to set up bike areas in some stores and separate bike shops in others. We now have a great choice for customers; self-assembly or assembly at our bike shops by fully trained staff.”

Dave Aimson

Dave Aimson

David Aimson manages the internal sales team at ATG Training. He is the link between Tesco and the cycle trainers. “Our bike team had plenty of experience of training people working in the bike industry, but this was different”, he says. “We had to start from scratch when no bike shops existed in Tesco. Previously they had sold boxed bikes, so our team had to advise on tools as well as training. ATG Training already had bike courses planned with students enrolled. Our staff were brilliant and with slight schedule changes and some overtime we met Tesco’s demand without detriment to any other customers.”

Flexible programmes that integrate employers’ specialist training

Apprenticeship models can seem rigid. It takes skill to make them fit for purpose for a specialist business. In 2007, a global manufacturer of medical electronics recruited the first cohort of engineering apprentices through ATG.

Engineering student

Engineering apprentice

The company’s second cohort has just begun an engineering apprenticeship with ATG Training. “ATG are so approachable, friendly and flexible”, says their training manager. “When I visit the Future Centre I’m welcomed as if I was part of the company. We enjoy visiting school careers days to get youngsters interested in the equipment. We know about our product, but we aren’t educationalists. In the past, most of our recruits were experienced adults. We needed a partner to help us to recruit, select and train young people, and ATG has made it easy for us.” Planning the programme was a learning curve for both partners. ATG added some key elements to the package, such as training in computer network systems, to ensure that learners got the right technical background. They also spoke to the awarding body to propose revisions to the framework to match current working practices.

The employer is particularly pleased about how the corporate training is integrated into the scheme of work. “We come into the centre every Friday to deliver specialist courses, such as bespoke Health and Safety, which means that apprentices can go out on site with their mentors as soon as they finish their six-week block.” He is proud of the new employees. “They have a fresh outlook and they’ve learned excellent skills. We had 160 applicants for 10 places this time, and we’re sure that ATG Training has selected the ‘cream of the crop’ for us!”

Extending the model to a wider remit

It can be challenging to tackle new subject areas, but this approach translates well into other provision. Whilst apprenticeships are mandatory for engineers, retail workers often have poor access to training. ATG’s new partnership with ‘Performance through People’ (PTP) provides opportunities for local supermarket workers. The inspection report recognised a strength in the way that the retail programme met the employer’s needs:  ATG Training meets employers’ needs very well (according to an Ofsted report).

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