Employers pledge to support next generation of apprentices
New opportunities for apprentices could be on the horizon after employers from across the region pledged to create apprenticeship and provide young people with access to placement opportunities in partnership with Bradford College.
With the 13th annual National Apprenticeship Week taking place this week (3 – 7 February 2020), representatives from eight organisations signed a commitment to keep apprenticeships on the agenda and help open up new doors for young people.
During the employer pledge event, which was held at City Training Services (CTS) which is the apprenticeship arm of the college, Bradford College assistant principal Asa Gordon told the group that Bradford has many strengths, with increased employment in the finance and insurance, food service and manufacturing sector. With a high number of job vacancies in the city and the growth in the 16-19 demographic, it’s important that the College is working with employers to design the provision to meet the skills needs of the city. He said: "Today provides an opportunity to work with local employers to transform the lives of people in Bradford."
Among those at the event was Haydee Jones, purchasing manager at property development company Sekhon Group. She described how CTS supported the company to offer an apprenticeship, including screening CVs on the company’s behalf and advertising the vacancy to find their current apprentice, Zoe. She said: “Zoe has been an absolute star.
“She had been a carer and a voluntary worker and there was a spark in her that I could see. She just wanted somebody to give her that chance.”
A testimony from Zoe, read out by Haydee, said: “From leaving school I didn’t know what I wanted to do. When I did figure out what I wanted to do, I didn’t have the qualifications to do it.
“For the first two months (at Sekhon), I was so nervous but everyone made me feel welcome.”
Haydee described how Zoe’s confidence had increased and she was a successful member of the team. She added: “CTS has been so supportive throughout the whole process. We look forward to our relationship continuing.”
Also signing the employer pledge was Andrew Atkinson, head of business development at the Fleetmaster Group in West Yorkshire. He said: “It’s about bringing some younger blood into the organisation. We’d like to work with young people and believe in giving them opportunities.”
Other employers signing the pledge included Bradford Council, Pennine Trust, Don Whitley Scientific, Bradford District Credit Union and the NHS Confederation.
Kelly McAllister, Head of Apprenticeships and Business Development at Bradford College, said: “We want to encourage more employers to sign the pledge to support apprenticeship and placements in Bradford. Employers also have the opportunity to speak to students about career options and offer site visits to ensure young people know about the great employers we have in our city."
To find out more about Apprenticeships and how they can fill skills gaps within your workforce, support staff retention, boost productivity and help employers gain fresh perspectives on their work contact
CTS on 01274 728316 or email [email protected]