Television winner backs call for more apprenticeships

THE first winner of the BBC’s The Apprentice has visited Guildford to raise awareness among employers about the benefits of training schemes.

Tim Campbell was at Bower Wood Production Services, a set and stage construction firm, as part of the Learning and Skills Council’s (LSC) drive to encourage more businesses to take on apprentices.

Mr Campbell was working with the LSC throughout National Apprenticeship Week, and also visited Guildford College as well as companies in Reading and Southampton.

He said: “I’d love more organisations and established companies throughout Surrey to open their doors to apprenticeships to get lots of young people in and feel what industries they want to go into.”

During the past financial year, Surrey companies offered the fewest number of apprenticeships in the South East.

Some 2,060 basic apprenticeships, where employees are trained to NVQ Level 2 and given the skills necessary to become an effective member of staff, where offered to Surrey youngsters.

This compares to a figure of 6,554 for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and 5,795 for Thames Valley.

The number of advanced apprenticeships, where workers are trained to NVQ Level 3 over a period of two years, was also lower in Surrey than neighbouring areas.

Just 883 such schemes were offered in the county – more than 2,000 fewer than Thames Valley and almost 1,000 less than Sussex.

However, the total number of apprenticeships offered in Surrey has increased by 28% since 2006.

Marinos Paphitis, regional director of LSC South East, said: “During the current economic climate, it’s crucial that employers in the south-east region invest in their staff through a commitment to training.

“Bringing young people on board via apprenticeships is an excellent way to do this. It gives young people an opportunity to learn while they earn and unlock their talent.

“Being on an apprenticeship programme provides them with the necessary skills, which they will develop and enhance through their chosen career path.

“Employers also achieve considerable benefits by offering apprenticeships, from increased productivity to loyalty by improved staff retention and motivation.”

(Source: http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/business/s/2044027_television_winner_backs_call_for_more_apprenticeships)

Richard Reid is the founder of Pinnacle Proactive, Specialising in the Employee Assistance ProgramStress ManagementStaff Retention & Absenteeism. Take a Proactive Approach to Growing Your Organisation & its People. For more info visit http://www.pinnacleproactive.com

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