This week's 10th National Apprenticeship Week (NAW 2017) is set to bring together employers and apprentices to celebrate the success of apprenticeships over the last decade and will seek to encourage even more people to choose apprenticeships as a fast-track to a great career.

 Right now, there’s never been a better time to employ an apprentice, or start an apprenticeship:

  • Up to 28,000 apprenticeship vacancies are available online at any one time
  • 2015 - 2016 saw 1,656,680 on-line apprenticeship applications
  • Apprenticeships are available in 1500 job roles, covering more than 170 industries, from advertising to youth work and from environmental engineering to legal

 The benefits speak for themselves from increased competitiveness and employee retention through to a more motivated and satisfied team. Vitally, customers will favour using a company which takes on apprentices; Tech Partnership figures show 80% of people say they're more likely to use a business if it offers apprenticeships to young people.

At GROW@GreenPark we’ve been thrilled to support businesses looking to employ apprentices. A priority for Thames Valley Berkshire LEP, when it seed-funded our hub, was to build the tech talent pipeline. Working closely with the team, we share a commitment to helping Berkshire businesses diversify recruitment and bring in fresh talent to their companies. We’re proud to say we have three GROW businesses working with Digital Apprentices to equip a new generation with digital skills. Blue Array and Mass Media Design have apprentices combining real-world work experience with a structured training programme and Hub Mum Louize Clarke has taken on her first Digital Apprentice. The start-ups recruited their apprentices either through local providers or through their personal networks to ensure the right fit.

 As Gregor Spowart, founder of Mass Media Design comments, “We passionately believe in supporting next generation talent. The apprentice landscape has transformed and as an ambitious company, the priority for us is bringing the right talent into our business. We’ve recruited the most ambitious school leavers with the skills and experience to thrive at Mass Media Design while supporting our existing team as they develop. It’s cost-effective too.”

 Tim Smith, Chief Executive of Thames Valley Berkshire LEP, adds, “Whilst there are several changes on the horizon, including the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy for larger employers, the benefits of Apprenticeships to businesses and apprentices alike remain strong. The new tech Apprenticeship standards, which have been designed by employers, will ensure apprentices develop the skills they need to make real contribution to Berkshire’s tech companies.”


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