Employer Event for companies seeking Apprentices

Employer Event Collage

Following on from the high profile National Apprenticeship Week, ATG Training held an employer event on 16th April.

24 employers attended with several taking the opportunity to discuss their recruitment requirements for this year. With so many high profile companies seeking to add to their workforce with new #Apprentices this year it pays to register on www.atgapprenticeships.com  to be kept informed of the latest opportunities as they arise.

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It is day 4 of National Apprenticeship Week 2012!

Today we are in Hale Leys Shopping centre discussing #apprenticeships with passers-by.

Future Centre

Future Centre

Last night the Government confirmed an incentive of a £1,500 Apprenticeship Grant for Employers of 16 to 24 year olds. More details are on our website www.atg-training.co.uk

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£1,500 Apprenticeship Grant for Employers of 16 to 24 year olds

Ian Harper - CEO ATG Training

Ian Harper

Fact Sheet – February 2012
The AGE 16 to 24 is aimed at helping eligible employers to offer young people employment  hrough the Apprenticeship programme, by providing wage grants to assist them in recruiting their first apprentice.

The National Apprenticeship Service will provide up to 40,000 Apprenticeship Grants to small medium size employers recruiting 16 to 24 year olds with a value of £1,500, to encourage new employers to take on new 16 to 24 year old apprentices. Priority will be given to small-medium size employers with less than 50 employees.

When will AGE 16 to 24 be available?
The AGE 16 to 24 is available now until March 2013 for employers offer a job opportunity to a young person they recruit. Funding will start from 1 April 2012. However eligible employers who have employed a new apprentice from 1 February 2012 will be able to apply for the grant, subject to all the other eligibility criteria.

The employer is able to receive 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.

Which employers are eligible to receive this new AGE 16 to 24 payment?
Small and medium sized employers who are interested in employing an apprentice for the first time, or who have previously employed an apprentice more than 3 years ago.
Employers will sign an agreement which will include:

  1. Confirmation of the number of apprentices they will be taking on as a result of this incentive (to a maximum of 3)
  2. Confirmation that they wouldn’t have taken the apprentice on without this additional incentive
  3. A commitment to employ the apprentice for at least the time it takes to achieve the Apprenticeship framework. If they fail to do this some or all the grant will be clawed back
  4. Confirmation that they are aware of and do not breach any state aid rule
  5. Agreement to pay the minimum Apprenticeship wage of £2.60 per hour – although most apprentices receive more than this
  6. Confirmation that they have not taken on an apprentice in the previous three years.

Can existing employees starting an Apprenticeship programme within their existing employer attract the incentive?

No – the aim is to support employers to create new and additional jobs for 16 to 24 year olds.

Why is this support only available for 16 to 24 year olds?

We know that 16 to 24 year olds are more likely to be unemployed or economically inactive than older people.
Key Facts and Figures – 16 to 24 year olds in the labour market:

• The unemployment total for 16 to 24 year olds hit a record high of 1.02 million in the quarter, a jobless rate of 21.9%.
• The number of 16 to 24 year olds not in education, employment or training is approaching 26% (Q2 2010).

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It’s Day 2 of National Apprenticeship Week 2012!

CEO Ian Harper will be on the radio today discussing the current issues pertaining to apprenticeships. The following stations will carry the message.

  • BBC Radio Oxford
  • Big L
  • BBC Radio London
  • www.AdferoNews.com
  • Inspiration Fm
  • 106 JACK FM Oxfordshire
  • Represzent 107.3

If you are in the High Wycombe area, come and see us at the Job Centre Apprenticeship Fair being held in the AMF Bowling Centre from 2pm to 4pm this afternoon. We’ll be able to answer all your Apprenticeship-related questions and discuss our current vacancies with you.

See you there!

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Ian Harper at the London Bike Show 2012


ATG Training were at the London Bike Show between 12th and 15th January 2012. CEO Ian Harper took a few moments out from speaking to some of the 1,000+ visitors to the Cycle stage we shared with The Association of Cycle Traders, to share his knowledge and experience of the event. This short video will give you a flavour of what happened at Excel in London Docklands.

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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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Director of Learning and Skills

Just got back from viewing some of our students’ engineering presentations.  It’s very inspiring to see another generation of students adding real value to their employers through vocational products.  What struck me was a theme for productivity improvement.  Most projects involve an improvement in efficiency or a reduction of waste.  These are real savings that will improve their employers’ bottom lines.  It’s the best possible advert for proper vocational training: theory complementing practical application.  Programmes that deliver real, measurable benefits during and after the course.  Well done to the students.  They are proving themselves to be valuable assets to their employers and great ambassadors for a technical career.  Goodness knows the sector needs them.

Sterling Engine demonstration

Sterling Engine demonstration

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It’s not easy being green

“It’s not easy being green” a colleague says this morning.  Wrong.  It is easy. 

Director of Learning and Skills

Not to abandon private cars, holidays or the other life-changing things – they are difficult for most.  But to turn a light off, shut down a computer, turn the heating down a degree, empty your car boot of rubbish, drive 5mph slower?  Easy. 

These are all marginal changes that accumulate to major savings and help the environment.  And none of them impinge upon personal freedoms or cause any great inconvenience. 

ATG occupies a large, air-conditioned, well-lit building.  It needs to if it is to provide comfortable premises suitable for its excellent courses.  We will work to reduce our energy consumption this year.  By every one of 82 staff making their own marginal saving.  We can feel proud of the environmental impact and share in the financial benefit.

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Plans for Education

Director of Learning and Skills

Director of Learning and Skills

I’ve had a look at the Conservatives’ plans for education in their first 100 days in power should they win the next election.  Michael Gove is the Shadow Education Secretary and most of his announcement concerns their plans for aspects of the schools system but work-based learning is a high priority in the latest education policy Paper from the Party.
Lord Baker was interviewed in the Times Ed last week and reflected on the fact that when he was first appointed Education Secretary by Margaret Thatcher, he was given a couple of months to go away and think about what he wanted to do. It isn’t like that now. Incoming Ministers are expected to hit the ground running with new policies and ideas.  I suspect it’s not just me that is nervous of rushed policy being bad policy.  For something as important as education, I would be more comfortable knowing that good minds had carefully considered what will impact on the lives of the next generation of young people.  We have had two decades of continuous change in education: Curricula, standards and examinations have changed constantly since the introduction of GCSEs twenty years ago.  There are many young people out there who are or were guinea pigs for the latest educational fad.  Employers are confused by the array of qualifications and grades now available and find it difficult to differentiate between candidates for jobs as a result.

Whatever changes to the school system materialise, they must prepare young people for employment.  It cannot be right that numeracy and literacy deficiencies have to be addressed in apprenticeships when apprentices will have already had at least eleven years of mandatory schooling.  Why are some young people leaving school with good grades but not able to apply their knowledge in employment?   I hope that whatever the colour of the new government, they think carefully about what they will change, adopt a long term, stable approach and ensure that employers’ needs are considered and catered for.  That is the only way to ensure that future generations of young people are developed to enter rewarding careers appropriate to their ability and subject expertise.

One final observation: Diplomas were notable by their absence……

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