Employers pledge to support next generation of apprentices

Ruth Peterson | February 6, 2020

New opportunities for apprentices could be on the horizon after employers pledged to create apprenticeships and give placement opportunities to young people in partnership with Bradford College.

With the 13th annual National Apprenticeship Week taking place this week (3 – 7 February 2020), eight organisations signed a commitment to keep apprenticeships on the agenda and open new doors.

Meeting the needs of Bradford

During the employer pledge event, held at the college’s apprenticeship arm Bradford College Apprenticeships, 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, Asa said it was important that the College worked 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.”

Star apprentice Zoe

Among those at the event was Haydee Jones, purchasing manager at property development company Sekhon Group. She described how the apprenticeship team 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, 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: “The apprenticeship team has been so supportive throughout the whole process. We look forward to our relationship continuing.”

Bringing in fresh talent

Also signing the employer pledge was Andrew Atkinson, head of business development at the Fleetmaster Group in West Yorkshire, who said he was hoping to introduce a work experience placement in digital marketing. 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.

Employers: We want you to support our apprentices!

Kelly McAllister, Head of Apprenticeships and Business Development at Bradford College, said: “We want to encourage more employers to sign the pledge to support apprenticeships 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”.

Find out more

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 Bradford College apprenticeships on 01274 728316 or email apprenticeships@bradfordcollege.ac.uk

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