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Thousands more school leavers choosing apprenticeships

Posted: 7 July 2014

New figures from local authorities reveal the number of school leavers embarking on apprenticeships has risen by more than 15% in just 1 year.

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NEET’s in England at Lowest Level since 2005

Posted: 22 May 2014

Figures released today show that the proportion of young people aged 16 to 24 not in education, employment or training (NEET) is at the lowest comparable level since 2005 – with the percentage of teenagers NEET at its lowest since records began.

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Why SMEs should invest in apprenticeships

Posted: 30 April 2014

Apprenticeships are often described as a great way to introduce talent to an organisation, and the government’s pledge to fund 100,000 additional places before December 2015 could provide the ideal opportunity for your small business to get involved.

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Employers to play bigger role in rating skills training

Posted: 30 April 2014

Ofsted is asking employers to play a bigger role in rating the effectiveness of skills training and education. The education watchdog’s Employer View website, launched on Monday, asks employers in England to lodge their views on training providers.

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What lies ahead for apprenticeships?

Posted: 30 April 2014

Small businesses will be put off the scheme if we don’t learn lessons from the first cohort of trailblazer apprenticeship. The reforms have the potential to improve apprenticeship design and delivery, but how much have the long-term practicalities been considered? Who will update the standards created by employer-led trailblazer apprenticeships once they become out of date? This will happen very quickly in fast-changing industries.

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Exeter-based medical practice recommends apprenticeship schemes

Posted: 19 March 2014

Exeter-based Pinhoe & Broadclyst Medical Practice has taken on an apprentice after attending an Apprenticeship Week event organised by Devon County Council.

The practice had been looking to take on an apprentice after an increase in their workload.  The new housing development in Cranbrook will eventually have a medical practice, but in the meantime residents register by default with the Pinhoe practice.

 After attending a Devon County Council Apprenticeship Week event the practice set about advertising for the apprenticeship post through the National Apprenticeship Service website, which they in turn shared on their website to achieve a higher reach of applications.

Andy Potter, Practice Manager at Pinhoe & Broadclyst Medical Practice, said:

“The process of taking on an apprentice was a lot easier than I initially thought. Online recruitment always tends to bring in some quite poor applications due to the pressure that some Job Centres put on applicants to apply for every other job to hit targets.  However saying this, we were impressed with the applications we received.  

“Our apprentice has been with us since September 2013 and we have been really impressed with their work, and would definitely recommend the scheme to other businesses. 

“Not only did the scheme benefit the apprentice but it really helped our current staff too – there’s nothing like consolidating your own skills by teaching someone else.”

Over the last six months, the apprentice has been given training support from a company called Buttercups which has helped them achieve an NVQ2 in Pharmaceutical Services.

The qualification means the apprentice is trained should they wish to pursue a career in retail or hospital pharmacy at the end of the scheme.

Apprentices bring fresh talent to East Devon charity

Posted: 19 March 2014

East Devon-based charity, Mind, say they were inspired to take on apprentices after attending a Devon County Council Apprenticeship event.

Mind in East Devon and Exeter had been looking to take on an apprentice after realising the opportunity that apprentices could provide in bringing fresh talent and developing skills in employees, to meet the needs of their organisation. 

Ruth Wells, Chief Executive Officer at Mind said:

“As a struggling charity ourselves, the Council’s Apprenticeship Week event was what really inspired us to pursue apprenticeship recruitment.

“The financial support information offered at the event, coupled with the energy of the apprentices that were there, was what ultimately made us want to join the scheme.”

Since the event, the charity has taken on two apprentices in Health and Social Care.

Ruth said:

“We were able to recruit two enthusiastic apprentices and have really enjoyed having them work within our organisation. We are at the beginning of the process but it is great seeing them develop their skills and we look forward to seeing the benefits this will bring to our business in the future.”

Thousands of jobs and apprenticeships to get seaside economies and flood affected areas growing

Posted: 7 March 2014

50 Coastal Communities Fund winners named and next round unveiled as £64 million pot.

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Higher apprenticeship scheme could shape the future of care services

Posted: 6 March 2014

A new higher apprenticeship for care workers with ambition to shape the future of adult care homes and services is being widely adopted across the sector.

The work-based level 5 care leadership and management qualification, launched in 2012, is being seen as the gold standard for aspiring registered managers and others who are keen to become heads of service. It is appealing to both young and older sections of the workforce, boosting the hope that it could contribute towards attracting the extra two to three million care workers needed to meet the demands of the sector by 2025.

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Business Benefits Of Taking On An Apprentice

Posted: 4 March 2014

Employing an apprentice is a rewarding experience which helps young people achieve their potential while businesses increase their productivity and competitiveness. Apprenticeships give employers the opportunity to train staff to meet specific skills requirements and increase staff capacity through a relatively cost effective route.

Apprenticeships deliver skills designed around the needs of the business and provide the skilled workers employers need for the future. What apprentices lack in experience, they make up in enthusiasm, energy, endeavour, ambition and motivation. They generate new ideas and facilitate innovation. Training apprentices can also be more cost effective than hiring skilled staff, leading to lower overall training and recruitment costs. It reduces staff turnover and supplies skilful labour that is often not available through the external job market.

Apprenticeships enable businesses to create the workforce with the right ethos for their organisations.  Companies can grow their own talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce, while creating loyalty and continuity. LSC survey (2009) on benefits of completing an apprenticeship found out that 90% of apprentices had remained in employment immediately after their apprenticeship had ended.

Apprenticeships have wide social and economic value, they can solve skills shortage problems and bring competitive advantage to both employers and apprentices. The government recognises their importance by providing support and public funding available to businesses. The National Apprenticeship Service ( offers advice on available support.

UK economy is bouncing back from the recession so this is the right moment to create the workforce needed for the future years. There has never been a better time to employ an apprentice with government investment of £1.56 billion planned for 2013-14, including £40m on Higher Apprenticeships to achieve 20,000 new starts. Return on investment for the economy is £18 to every £1 of government spend.  New to apprenticeships employers can be eligible to receive an Apprenticeship Grant of £1,500 per apprentice.