Businesses were asked to pledge to take on at least one apprentice at an event held by Bradford College as part of National Apprenticeship Week.
The benefits of apprenticeships to individuals, employers and the wider economy were outlined to businesses who attended the Employer Pledge Event organised by the College’s apprenticeship training provider, City Training Services.
Employers that were not in a position currently to commit to employing an apprentice were asked instead to consider offering work experience, internships or workplace visits to school or college students or to attend recruitment events to speak to learners about careers in their sector.
The night’s guest speaker was Judith Cummins, MP for Bradford South, who enthused about the importance of apprenticeships to improving Bradford’s future and described apprenticeships as a “win, win” for both the apprentice and the employer.
She said: “In Bradford, not enough of our young people have the skills and the opportunities that they need to access good-quality and secure jobs and these issues are becoming ever more urgent as we face the impact of new technologies in the world of work.
“Creating a skilled workforce to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow must be an urgent priority for all those who care about Bradford and want us to succeed.
“For too long in this country, the only route to success was assumed to be a strictly academic one and GCSEs, A Levels and going to university was the primary measure of success. What a waste of talent and potential that was. Thankfully, this is no longer the case and the argument for high-quality vocational education with parity of esteem with the academic system that argument has largely been won.
“I pay tribute to all of those who support our apprentices. To those that haven’t already done so, I would say just look at the benefits apprenticeships bring to both the individual and the businesses who take them on. It really is a win, win situation.”
Judith Cummins MP tells businesses of the importance of apprenticeships
Plaques were presented to business who already employed apprenticeships or were keen to begin doing so or were willing to support the College by some other means.
Among the businesses attending were Bradford Council, Banner Group, Incommunities, Bradford Telegraph and Argus, Pulse Radio, Midland Hotel, Radio Design, Crossley Hall, West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, University of Bradford, University of Leeds, Bradford Pathways and Bradford Forster Academy.
Dawn Leak, Chief Executive Officer of City Training Services and Director of Employer Responsiveness at Bradford College said: “We already work with enterprising employers who are providing apprenticeships and work placement opportunities for young people and adults. But we want to encourage even more to get involved.
“By working collaboratively we can invest in local people and nurture talent for the benefit of businesses, the individuals and the economic growth of the Leeds City Region.”
“This pledge is an opportunity for local businesses to strengthen their workforce and help local young people prepare for and enter the world of work.”
Any businesses interested in offering their time and support at any level is asked to contact the Business Development Team on 01274 728316 or at [email protected]