Toolkit Launched to Ease Employers Access to Apprentices
The York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership (YNYER LEP) have joined forces with the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to support businesses to recognise the benefits of employing apprentices. As part of a broad strategy to align the skills needs of regional employers with apprenticeship training, the LEPs have developed a toolkit to ease the way for businesses in navigating apprenticeship policy reforms and funding, including the apprenticeship levy. The toolkit signposts towards local and national resources and demonstrates how apprenticeship training can help businesses of any size to fill their skills gaps and meet their growth aspirations.
The online, interactive toolkit will be launched by the LEPs at an employer facing event on 3rd December at Bishop Burton College in Beverley. The event, which includes speakers from Nestle and JR Rix & Sons Ltd, will explain to employers how to maximise apprenticeship funding, improve apprenticeship recruitment and retention and showcase how apprenticeships have developed in recent years. The LEPs are keen to dispel myths that apprenticeships are for entry level roles only and engage employers in accessing apprenticeships for their current staff, helping them to develop their skill sets across all levels. Apprenticeships can now deliver degrees or chartered status and offer flexible opportunities to gain technical skills and progress at work.
YNYER LEP’s broader strategy also delivers projects to increase accessibility to apprenticeship opportunities for people living in rurally isolated areas and champion apprenticeships in schools. The ambition is for the breadth of opportunity available to young people to be understood, by both students and parents, whilst being aligned to the needs of employers in the region. Of particular focus is the promotion of apprenticeships in engineering and construction, sectors where an ageing workforce threatens sustainability. Also, opportunities in agri-tech and biorenewables are highlighted, as through apprenticeships, the region can continue as a lead innovator in these rurally distinctive sectors.
One employer in the region, already benefitting from apprentices in their business and keen to support the partnerships to spread the good word, is Nestle, based in York.
Jill Coyle, Apprentice Programme Lead, Nestle UK & Ireland says, “Nestlé has a long tradition in supporting apprenticeships as a key route to attracting new talent to our business. In more recent years, we have broadened our offering from engineering and manufacturing and embraced opportunities in areas such as finance, chartered management, supply chain and confectionery.
“The traditional view of apprenticeships as being primarily for new entrants to the workforce no longer applies in the modern world. The diverse and wide-ranging apprenticeship portfolio now offers great prospects for individuals at the start of their profession right through to up-skilling current employees to take the next step. Apprenticeships are a fantastic chance to continue learning and developing both personally and professionally.”
It’s not only large businesses who can benefit from apprentices and the apprenticeship toolkit.
Catherine Windross, Managing Director, of Ryedale Plasterers, a small, family business based in North Yorkshire, looked to apprenticeships to address a serious threat to her business through a shortage of skills in the local area. Drawing on the tradition of passing on skills through hands-on, practical application, Catherine invested time in finding the right apprentices who could learn from her experienced team and expand the life and capacity of the business. Catherine says, “Our apprentices are able to learn these incredibly specialist skills from the best in the business, and earn money whilst doing it. It’s great for them, and also for our business. We’re a tight team and we can continue to look forward to a bright future, knowing that we’re growing the skills base we need to draw upon for our work.”
Ruth Smith, Chair of the Skills and Employability Board at YNYER says, ‘’Working to ensure that businesses have a workforce with the skills they need both today and tomorrow is an essential part of our purpose. Apprenticeships offer businesses a unique way to achieve this.
“Apprenticeships can help address the technical skills gaps in our economy, whilst the on-the-job approach to training also provides employability skills, such as interpersonal qualities and emotional intelligence, which businesses so often tell us they need. Combined, these are crucial to improve our business productivity. We recognise that many employers, despite knowing the benefits of apprenticeships, are deterred by the perceived barriers in the way of employing them. This toolkit aims to break down those barriers and support businesses to achieve the growth and sustainability that they desire. ’’
29th November 2018
Aissa Gallie, Senior Communications Officer, 07850 448366
Notes to Editor:
About the York, North Yorkshire & East Riding Enterprise Partnership
Set up by central government, we’re a business led partnership with the public sector using our local knowledge to secure investment in projects that will make a real difference to our economy by helping our area’s businesses grow. This includes investing in skills to create more quality jobs; in infrastructure to support business growth and in homes to provide the workforce with housing.
The York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership (YNYER LEP) and Humber Enterprise Partnership (Humber LEP) Apprenticeship Employer Event which is taking place on: Monday 3 December 2018 at Bishop Burton College, York Road, Beverley HU17 8QG from 9.00 am – 12.15 pm (followed by a networking lunch).