Rolls Royce Launches Apprenticeship Programme 2014

With a host of Apprenticeships currently available in the Thames Valley, applications are sought for the roles available on

An example of the interesting opportunities companies offer is Rolls-Royce Motor Cars who are looking for apprentices, with the successful applicants set to start in August 2014, the company announced this week.

The Apprenticeship Programme will select young people who will join forces with the company’s teams in various roles, including assembly, engineering, paint, wood and leather, Rolls-Royce said.

This will be the seventh consecutive year of the company’s Apprenticeship Programme. It is open to people aged between 16 and 24 and provides applicants with the chance to be trained at a leading engineering company and to experience luxury car manufacturing processes first-hand. The programme has been developed in collaboration with the Learning Skills Council and several colleges.

Those that are approved for the apprenticeship will go through a training scheme lasting up to four years, while at the same time studying for nationally recognised qualifications, the company explained. Recently the programme was extended to cover business areas, and the first business apprentices were selected this year.

The recruitment process has been designed to ensure that only the best applicants are chosen. Those that successfully complete the apprenticeship will be given the opportunity to stay with the company and continue to advance in their professional paths.

Young people who want to take part in Rolls-Royce’s Apprenticeship Programme can apply online on the company website.


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Record 870,000 In Apprenticeship Programmes 2012/13

The latest statistical release from the Skills Funding Agency’s Data Service shows that ATG_apprentices_031213the number of apprentices in the UK reached a record high of 870,000 in 2012/13.

Since 2010 there have been 1.5 million apprenticeship starts, of which 500,000 were in the last financial year. On an annual basis the 2012/13 figure represented an increase of 77% on 2009/10, said Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock. Besides, the number of people in higher apprenticeships in 2012/13 was 13,000, a two-fold increase on the previous year, the minister added. This is the highest number since higher apprenticeships were introduced by the government. At the same time, the number of people engaged in advanced level apprenticeships went up by 19% on the year to some 380,000 in 2012/13.

The number of apprentices under the age of 19, however, registered a decrease in the period, resulting from the heightened focus on quality and the fact that now all apprenticeships involve actual jobs and not just training, which raised the performance threshold. The number of new apprenticeship starts has not increased, as a consequence of the fact that the minimum apprenticeship term is now one year. However, the scrapping of six-month programmes was considered essential for raising quality standards.

Hancock expressed hope that an apprenticeship will soon become the usual alternative to university for college and school leavers, something that could be done with a strong focus on the quality that employers look for in apprentices.

Following reforms announced in October, apprenticeships are now much more industry-specific and employer-led, ensuring that the participants have the specific skills needed for the particular industry sector. They are also more rigorous than before in order to ensure the high quality of the qualifications acquired.

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Three Apprentices, Five Companies Grab National Apprenticeship Awards

The winners of the National Apprenticeship Awards were announced on Thursday at anAPP_Logo_Col_CMYK event in the company of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. Three apprentices and five employers, as well as a former apprentice, won the prizes in nine categories in this tenth year of the awards.

Clegg said that the government had succeeded in creating one and a half million new apprenticeships and among the factors that helped was events like the National Apprenticeship Awards as well as the willingness of businesses to give apprentices a chance.

In the Learndirect Intermediate Level Apprentice of the Year category the winner was Lydia Webster, working for Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust in Truro. The Excellence, Achievement & Learning (EAL) Advanced Level Apprentice of the Year award went to Sadie Hawkins from IBM United Kingdom in Winchester. The prize in the Unilever Higher Apprentice Apprentice of the Year category was won by Jessica Kirby from Cirkle Communications in Beaconsfield and the City & Guilds Apprenticeship Champion of the Year was Chloe Gailes from Barclays Bank in Knutsford.

In the employer categories, the Livity Macro Employer of the Year (5000+ employees) prize went to BT and the award for BAE Systems Large Employer of the Year (250-4,999 employees) was grabbed by BAM Nutall Ltd, based in Camberley. The Medium Employer of the Year (25-249 employees) award, sponsored by the Nuclear Decommissioning Site Licence Companies, went to Walter Smith Fine Foods from Birmingham and the Jaguar Land Rover-sponsored Small Employer of the Year prize went to Fairfield Control Systems from Newark. The Investors in People award for Apprenticeship Newcomers was handed to HSBC Bank in Birmingham.


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Jaguar Land Rover Targets Female Engineers With 2014 Apprenticeship Programme

Jaguar Land Rover has announced its 2014 apprenticeship recruitment programme,ATG_femaleengineer_141113 which will focus on attracting more female engineers. The carmaker will look to hire 150 new apprentices through the campaign, adding to a workforce of 500 already in apprenticeship programmes at its five sites in the United Kingdom, which offer young people a mix of academic education and hands-on experience in the automotive industry.

There are two options for applicants: either a four-year advanced apprenticeship programme that targets students at GCSE level, or a six-year higher apprenticeship programme aimed at A-level students. There is a specific focus on female applicants this year, with Jaguar Land Rover encouraging more of them to consider an engineering career in car manufacturing.

At present there are 24 women in the carmaker’s apprenticeship programme. One of them, Bethan Fernandes Philips, who is in Jaguar Land Rover’s apprenticeship programme together with her twin sister Teresa, said they had both always been passionate about engineering and the programme had given them the opportunity to pursue careers in this area.

ATG_RangeRover_141113Mike Wright, executive director at the Tata Motors-owned automotive company, commented that the carmaking industry is very competitive and the challenges and opportunities for engineering professionals are at their height. This makes it essential for Jaguar Land Rover to make sure it hires the next generation of engineers and innovators to support its growth plans for the future, he added.

Jaguar Land Rover last week reported £668 million in pre-tax profit for the third quarter of the year.


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Demand For Apprenticeships Will Continue To Exceed Supply, Report Says

A paper published by the Work Foundation, part of Lancaster University, has forecastATG_demand_121113 that the demand for apprenticeships will continue to exceed supply in the next few years, unless a greater number of employers embrace apprenticeships.

The paper also calls for reform in the apprenticeships system in order to encourage youth employment. Currently, the report argues, the high demand for apprenticeships is mainly accounted for by people over 25, many of them already in employment. Also, the current apprenticeship model is predominantly oriented towards the manufacturing sector, while the real economy is increasingly shifting towards the service industry. Taking this into account will help address youth unemployment, according to the author of the paper, Katy Jones.

The paper identifies four areas where reform is particularly needed. First of all, Jones argues that apprenticeship pathways should be improved by providing better career advice and guidance and also by making sure there are traineeships available for young people who are not yet ready to go into a full apprenticeship.

Second, the regulation concerning apprentices’ wages needs working on. Clearer guidance on the minimum apprenticeship pay on a national level is necessary, both for employers and for apprentices, since currently in some sectors, such as social care, apprentices are paid below the legal minimum. Employers should also be encouraged to pay their apprentices more.

Speaking of employers, Jones also suggests that the relationship between them and schools should be strengthened to improve their engagement with apprenticeship programmes.

Finally, the content of apprenticeships should be improved. One way to do this would be extending the duration of both advanced and higher level apprenticeships. The current minimum of 280 hours of Guided Learning annually is below international standards and could be improved, the report concludes.

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Thames Valley Berkshire Gets £2.4m To Combat Youth Unemployment

The fight against youth unemployment in the Thames Valley has received a major boost in the form of £2.4 million for investment in related initiatives. The money will come from the Youth Contract programme and will support councils and businesses in Reading, West Berkshire,ATG_NickClegg_051113 Wokingham, Bracknell, Slough and Windsor & Maidenhead to get more young people into work, as well as provide them with tailored training opportunities.

This is the latest City Deal to get the go-ahead from the government and its signing is of tremendous importance for young people and employers in the Thames Valley Berkshire area. As announced by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, the deal will support initiatives to prepare 16- to 24-year-olds in the region for the world of work. Over the next three years, 4,500 local youngsters are expected to benefit from the deal.

Support will be provided through the creation of 1,500 new work experience placements and an additional 300 apprenticeships. Eligible businesses across the area will benefit from 800 new Youth Contract Wage Incentives. The deal terms stipulate that the employment and skills opportunities need to clearly reflect the needs of local youngsters to help them secure jobs. The £2.4 million provided by the government will be matched by the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, which will count on local businesses to secure private sector investment.

Clegg said that City Deals were all about solving local problems through local solutions by adopting innovative approaches. Tackling youth unemployment is at the heart of these deals and the latest one will benefit all stakeholders in Thames Valley Berkshire. Providing local young people with valuable skills will also help businesses in the area, allowing them to grow and contribute to local prosperity, Clegg added.

Welcoming the investment Stephen Smyth, spokesman for ATG Training reminded local employers that other financial support is also available to them through Government initiatives.  There is a grant of £1,500 for employers that take on new Apprentices, which apply to as many as 10 (£15,000). In addition there is support available from the European Social Fund.

More information is available on the available financial support on 0845 873 8440 or


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Cameron Hails “New Era” For Apprenticeships

With the support of more than 60 major companies, the UK government is ushering in a “newATG_DowningSt_311013 era” for apprenticeships, Prime Minister David Cameron said this week during a meeting with over 500 young people. In addition to reforms that will ensure the highest possible quality of apprenticeship programmes, the country’s leading companies have committed to providing thousands of new vocational training schemes. The aim is to create 100,000 work training opportunities within two years, greatly advancing efforts to tackle youth unemployment.

The apprenticeship reforms, spurred by the Richard Review of the existing system, are designed to make vocational training a worthy rival to higher and further education through accentuating academic rigour, Cameron said. In the future, the minimum length of an apprenticeship will be one year. Going forward, employers will have the main say, with apprenticeship standards based on their specific skill needs. The new system will also be greatly simplified, meaning that the new standards will describe the skills and knowledge required by an occupation concisely and in simple language.

In order to ensure the highest quality, the new apprenticeship system will involve strict independent assessment of apprentices, as well as a more rigorous academic assessment through stricter requirements for maths and English results. This will serve to evaluate the competence of a candidate. In addition, apprentices will get a pass, merit or distinction grade, which will align the system with that of full-time education.

According to Cameron, the new apprenticeship system should start operating at the end of next year. The objective is to have the new standards applying to all new apprentices from 2017, the PM added.

Welcoming the change spokesman Stephen Smyth said: ‘Having been providing rigorous Engineering Apprenticeships since 1967, ATG Training have always had a minimum duration of 1 year, most however last 3 years and culminate in HNC or HND level qualification. ATG Training are therefore well placed to serve the ‘new era for Apprenticeships’.

0845 873 8440

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Faringdon Youngsters Bet On Apprenticeships To Realise Engineering Dream

UK employers and industry organisations use every opportunity to sound the alarm over theATG_design1_301013 impending shortage of engineering skills. The government is hoping that apprenticeships will provide a solution to the problem and numerous efforts are being made to raise their profile among young Britons. Sometimes youngsters do not need any help to realise that the best route to their desired profession is an apprenticeship. This is the case with two 18-year-olds in Faringdon, Oxfordshire, who have opted for vocational training over university in pursuit of their engineering dreams, the Oxford Times has reported.

The two youngsters are Patrick Andrews and Jake Thompson, who have begun their apprenticeships at engineering and building consultancy QODA Consulting. Jake has previously worked on assorted Tower of London projects, while Patrick has contributed to plans for a Gloucestershire biomass energy centre.

Commenting on his decision, Jake said that an apprenticeship offered him the opportunity to get hands-on experience in the field he had chosen. Jake noted that engineering had always held an attraction for him but since school-based learning had never been his thing, vocational training provided him with the perfect solution. He also said that a university course would have given him far less knowledge than his training on the job.

ATG_design2_301013Patrick listed several reasons that had made him choose an apprenticeship over university. The training he receives will pave the way for a sponsored degree but that is only one of the advantages. The young man noted that he was secure in the knowledge that he had a paid job and would end up with practical experience that a university degree could not bestow.

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Quality Is Key To Making Apprenticeships High-Status Option, Says IfL Chief

No economy stands a chance of sustainable growth unless it has a steady supply ofATG_training-quality_171013 skilled workers. The importance of apprenticeships for ensuring that supply is profound and widely acknowledged. But there is still some way to go before vocational training is unanimously perceived as a highly attractive and highly regarded opportunity for young people starting their career journey and adults looking to enter a new professional field. The key to achieving that is quality and it should be associated with all apprenticeships, regardless of the company offering them, according to Toni Fazaeli, CEO of the Institute for Learning.

In an article for the Information Daily, Fazaeli says that world-class apprenticeships are characterised by three things. Firstly, they offer training at a very high standard, both on and off the job, and this training is delivered by professionals with level 5 qualifications. Secondly, a top-quality apprenticeship includes excellent maths and English tuition because literacy and numeracy are considered crucial for employability and career progression. Finally, young people will not be attracted to vocational training unless successful apprentices can count on status and definite career prospects.

Fazaeli notes further that the media should do more to give apprenticeships the coverage they deserve. It can hardly be expected of young people to consider apprenticeships as an option when schools and universities dominate the news. Part of the responsibility for spreading the word also lies with school career advisers, who should take every opportunity to inform young people about the variety of careers they can pursue through apprenticeships.

Engineering Apprenticeships offer some of the highest quality training and career prospects’ said ATG Training spokesman Stephen Smyth. ‘We have a number of such vacancies available to young people and they can apply online here’.

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Semta Launches Awards To Celebrate UK Engineering Talent

The UK has a long history of engineering excellence and Semta is sparing no effort toATG_Semta_101013 ensure that the future is equally bright for this highly valuable profession. The organisation responsible for promoting skills in the engineering and advanced manufacturing sectors is convinced that the future growth of the UK economy will depend on keeping these sectors well supplied with talent. To celebrate all the people working to make that possible, Semta is launching the Semta Skills Awards.

The inaugural awards ceremony will take place on 12 February 2014 at the Park Plaza in London. Engineering apprentices will compete in two categories: Apprentice of The Year and Higher Apprentice of The Year. There will also be an award for the best training provider and the top graduate. The rest of the categories are Skills Champion of The Year, Skills Innovation of The Year and SME Investment in Skills. The winners in these categories will then go on to compete for the final and greatest recognition: the Best of British Engineering Award.

Semta’s chief executive Sarah Sillars said that the UK still boasted the best engineers in the world and the awards were a way of celebrating the best and brightest among them. These are the people who will inspire future generations through their achievements and dedication. The awards reflect Semta’s relentless efforts to ensure that the UK will never find itself short of engineering talent and the organisation is making solid progress towards bridging the skills gap, Sillars added.

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