Sense on apprentices

In tonight’s Evening Standard Professor Alison Wolf comments on the quality of Apprenticeship training delivery.

Profession Alison Wolf

Professor Alison Wolf

IT IS common ground between the parties that apprenticeships are an excellent thing and that there should be more of them. The Tories promise to fund 50,000 new apprenticeships using bank fines; Labour will require firms that hire workers from abroad to train local apprentices if they are to gain state contracts. All this is fine sounding — except that as Professor Alison Wolf, an expert in the field, points out, what is needed is not necessarily an explosion in the number of recruits but an insistence on the quality of their training.

“What [the parties] should be saying,” she says, “is that we want fewer, better apprenticeships, not that we are going to keep trumping each other in term of undeliverable numbers.” She is right: apprenticeships are fundamental to improving the skills of young Britons. But done badly, they provide little benefit for either worker or employer. The issue deserves to be taken more seriously by all the major parties.

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General Election – A snap shot of the parties views on Apprenticeships

Some political parties were asked by the website TTG Digital a question on Apprenticeships which was: Will you offer any incentives for businesses to take on apprentices?

Below are their responses.

Palace of Westminster

Palace of Westminster

Conservatives: Over the next five years, we will deliver three million more apprenticeships and ensure they deliver the skills employers need. We have abolished the jobs tax – employers’ National Insurance Contributions (NICs) – for the under-21s and next year we will do the same for young apprentices under 25. We will continue to help smaller businesses take on new workers through the Employment Allowance, which frees businesses from the first £2,000 of employers’ NICs so that a third of employers pay no jobs tax.

Labour: Labour will introduce an Apprenticeship Guarantee by which every school leaver who gets the grades will be able to begin a high-quality apprenticeship. Under Labour every young person that gets the right grades will have a right to a high-quality apprenticeship, just as people with good A-levels have a de facto right to go to university. We will require every firm getting a major government contract to offer apprenticeships.

Liberal Democrats: We will extend the £1,500 apprenticeship grant to 200,000 more employers in order to help them to hire more valuable apprentices. We want to improve the quality of apprenticeships and expand them to all sectors and all parts of the country. We will create employer-led groups that set the standards for apprenticeships.

Ukip: By linking vocational schools and colleges with industry, we will introduce an option for students to take an apprenticeship qualification instead of four non-core GCSEs. Students can then continue their apprenticeships past the age of 16, working with certified professions qualified to grade their progress.

TTG also contacted the Green Party, but it said that it “did not have the capacity to provide specific responses” to our questions.


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Election Apprenticeship News

Communication-Box_Higher_App_Oriental_engineerDuring this election all parties are vying with themselves to claim the moral high ground in the education sector and in particular #Apprenticeships. Here at ATG Training we have been providing employers with well trained #Apprentices since 1967. Specialising in the #Engineering sector we can help employers access funding to train their staff from level 2 to level 4 (foundation degree).

If you have existing members of staff who would benefit from further education in the workplace let us help you gain access to the funding you need.

0845 873 8440

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‘I absolutely love it’ says Business Administration Apprentice

This short podcast is the voice of Georgia Lewicki who is a Business Administration Apprentice studying with ATG Training. She is working for Seelogic a company that builds and integrates Customer Relationship Management tools for businesses in Aylesbury.

Georgia says that, for her the Apprenticeship programme she is embarked on is a new start with the aim of gaining the qualification she has been seeking.

Georgia says: ‘I want to get from my Apprenticeship more experience in the workplace. As well as learning, I’ll be gaining another qualification and I’ll be getting more knowledge. I absolutely love it’ she concluded.

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Apprentices Earn Almost £4,000 More Than Graduates Each Year in First Job

According to the results of a new study by the team behind the website Not Going To Uni highlights career and education options for those not wanting to attend university.

Successful ATG Training Apprentices

Successful ATG Training Apprentices

The survey finds that 42% of apprentices feel that the biggest benefit of an apprenticeship is the ability to get hands-on experience whilst studying. 56% of recent graduates felt that the biggest benefit of undertaking a degree was being more qualified than others when applying or being interviewed for a job.

Initially, all respondents were asked ‘What do you feel were the top benefits to undertaking your chosen study option?’ When provided with a list of possible responses and told to select all those applied, the top five responses amongst those who had completed an apprenticeship were:

1.      Hands-on experience whilst studying – 42%
2.      Being able to earn money whilst learning – 34%
3.      Being in a working environment – 21%
4.      No debt at the end of it – 16%
5.      Getting a taste for whether or not the career was for me – 13%

When asked the same question, the top five responses from recent graduates were:

1.      Being more qualified than some others going for the same job(s) – 56%
2.      Making lifelong friends – 52%
3.      Moving to / travelling to different places – 38%
4.      Having the theoretical knowledge of the sector – 32%
5.      Having the chance of a placement year for hands-on experience – 24%

According to the poll, only 8% of the respondents who completed an apprenticeship wished they had undertaken a degree, whilst 33% of those who had graduated from university wished they’d embarked on an apprenticeship. When asked to state why, ‘to save getting in to debt’ (31%) and ‘full-time education wasn’t for me’ (24%) were the most common responses amongst the graduates.

Apprentices can also carry on further education to degree level qualifications should they decide to take that route.

Details are available from or call 01296 737800

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Opportunities for employers during #NAW2015

Untitled-2Today is the start of National Apprenticeship Week #NAW2015 and it provides us with the perfect opportunity to take stock of the positive impact apprenticeships and traineeships have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.

ATG Training support employers by delivering Apprenticeship training programmes, primarily in the Engineering sectors.  Such manufacturing companies also have related support field requirements – such as Warehousing and Logistics, Business Administration and Customer Service.

The theme of this year’s campaign ‘is to challenge our knowledge of the Apprenticeship programme’.  So with that in mind did you know that?

  • 1,000 businesses are now involved in designing the new apprenticeship standards – the first new apprenticeships due to be delivered in 2014 to 2015
  • businesses report an average increase in productivity by £214 a week for each apprentice they employ
  • small businesses may get a £1500 grant to help cover the cost of starting a new apprentice aged 16 to 24 years old
  • 70% of employers reported that apprenticeships improved their productivity or the quality of their product or service
  • apprenticeships are estimated to contribute £34 billion to the UK economy in 2014

If this has got you thinking and raised some questions why not have a free no obligation chat with ATG Training to find out more and gain access to funding for training your team.

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Daniella Motors Her Way To Success

Motor Parts Direct (MPD) opened its first branch in Kettering in 2000, supplying car ATG Training officer, John Warwick, delivering training at Motor Parts Directparts to independent garages. The company has continued to expand and is now one of the largest independent suppliers of parts to the motor industry. Daniella Kamentschuk joined the company a few years ago as a part- time driver, but she knew where she wanted to go, within the company, and was prepared to work exceptionally hard to get there.

Daniella approached the MPD management team and expressed an interest in completing a Level 2 Sales Course. Her enthusiasm and proactive attitude impressed her bosses, and she was signed up for the course. Daniella read everything she could to broaden her sales knowledge and literally went the extra mile, accompanying the branch rep on sales appointments on her days off to gain confidence and experience. Fully supported by her management and colleagues, Daniella completed her course through ATG Training. ATG provides a diverse range of training to apprentices from its purpose-built site in Aylesbury. Daniella’s potential was recognised, and she was offered a trainee reps position, dividing her time between the company’s new Maldon office and the established branch at Chelmsford.

Daniella is doing very well and has already gained customer loyalty and achieved some very large sales. Through her own determination, and by applying the knowledge she gained through her sales course, in her first reportable period as a company representative, she came top of the representative’s league table for her region.

Daniella’s regional manager Darren Bigwood sums up her qualities, “Daniella is a bubbly character with lots of enthusiasm. She is very confident and likeable; necessary attributes for a successful sales rep, and she wants to get on in life and better herself. We will continue to support her to do that, secure in the knowledge that she will return our investment in her. The opportunities for promotion, to Branch Rep, Business Development Manager and beyond are attainable if Daniella chooses that path.”

Daniella has always had an ambition to works in sales and has a good knowledge of cars and their mechanics, so this career path is a perfect route for her to realise her ambitions. “I love my job. I enjoy talking to people, being out and about, and achieving something at the end of the working day,” she says. “When I started the course at ATG Training, I wasn’t sure it was right for me, but they were very supportive, and I soon saw how much it was going to help me. I would recommend ATG Training, and putting yourself forward to do courses that will improve your knowledge and skills, to anyone who wants to get on in their job.”

She may have started out her career with Motor Parts Direct as a part- time driver, but Daniella’s ambition is to become a member of the management team; her personal drive and determination will no doubt help her to realise that goal.

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Shortage of engineering apprentices

Companies will need 182,000 workers a year with engineering skills in the decade to 2022 but there is a current annual shortfall of 55,000, according to a new report.

Meeting the demand for new engineering jobs would generate £27billion a year for the UK economy from 2022, it was estimated.

Successful ATG Training Apprentices

Successful ATG Training Apprentices

Here at ATG Training there are lots of opportunities for Apprentice Engineers .

Companies such as University of Oxford, Martin-Baker Aircraft Company Limited, British Converting Solutions and many others seek ‪#‎Apprentices‬ to help build their successful companies.

Register at to keep informed and come to our Open Days 16th April 2015 2pm to 6pm or 16th May 2015 11am to 3pm


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The Duke of Edinburgh has written an article for New Scientist in which he says that Duke-of-Edinburgh_2094269cEngineers have done more for humanity than almost anyone else (reports  Valentine Low in The Times).

The Duke contends that while ‘many of us spend a lot of time complaining about the difficulties and problems of life’ engineers think of ways to make things better. Engineering, he says, has ‘made a greater positive difference to human life than almost any other human endeavour’.

Sage words from His Royal Highness and something we at ATG Training fully support as engineering training is the cornerstone of what we have been doing since 1967.

The number of firms who run effective Apprenticeship programmes within their business is growing in the current economic climate. This bring fantastic opportunities for young people to get on the ladder to a rewarding career, gaining valuable skills for life.
Visit to see the current Engineering vacancies which are updated regularly.

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Skills Gap

It is the time of year when many businesses conduct staff appraisals to set goals and objectives to meet the business plan for the coming year.

Having open discussions with staff can unearth a skills gap between their current position and the requirements of the business in the year ahead. This can often give a manager the headache of finding a cost effective solution to bringing staff up to the required standard. Businesses do not always have the financial resource available to simply ‘outsource’ the training needed.


So where do you turn if faced with this dilemma?

Funding is available from central government to train staff. Of course there are eligibility criteria as you would expect – after all this is tax payers money and so we are all contributing in one way or another to providing a skilled workforce for Great Britain PLC.


To access funded training, you will need to have identified the skills which need to be developed via the training. Your local college or training provider will be able to help you with that process, recommend a learning programme and then access the funding based on the training requirements you have.

So, if you have a supervisor who struggles with target-setting or a manager who under performs because they cannot delegate, contact us!

At ATG Training we offer a variety of accredited qualifications, as well as bespoke specialist short courses, designed to meet the needs of the individual and the goals of your business and are able to help you meet your business goals through staff training.


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