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    NAA Skills Update: Hard facts about Apprenticeships

    Those of you who have met me or have read my newsletter articles will know that I am constantly ‘banging the drum’ for apprenticeships. Well, I make no excuse for this because I have seen wonderful examples of how training and development through an apprentice framework can bring enormous benefits to apprentices and businesses alike

    But I realise that having a passion for apprentices isn’t enough and so it is time to back up my claims with some hard facts.

    According to the National Apprentice Service, the 2009 National Survey gathered the following responses from employers who were questioned about the benefits of apprenticeships:

    88%    more motivated and satisfied workforce
    83%    provides skilled workers needed for the future
    80%    reduces staff turnover
    77%    makes [the business] more competitive
    76%    provides higher overall productivity

    I recently attended a seminar aimed at making employers who require skills in the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) aware of the support which is available to them in the North West. The speakers were from industry, universities and the public sector and they all gave a similar message with regard to apprenticeships: they are not a ‘dumbed down’ option; they are a cost-effective way of building a skilled workforce. And with an 11% drop in university applicants this year, employers offering Higher Apprenticeships are recruiting the cream of the crop.

    If I have whetted your appetite, then you may be interested to hear that the NAA is arranging for a group of employers to visit a North West training provider which delivers apprenticeships right up to the Higher Apprenticeship level. The provider has kindly offered to cover a wide range of topics in order to help employers understand the processes and benefits associated with employing apprentices. Areas covered will include contracts, return on investment, salaries and framework content, so this is a really good opportunity to meet with apprentice specialists who will be able to offer advice and answer any questions you may have.

    If you would like to join in the visit to the training provider or if you have any skills- or apprentice-related issues, I would be pleased to hear from you.

    Susan Butters
    Project Manager, Autohub
    Northwest Automotive Alliance

    European Regional Development Fund Northern Powerhouse
    Partners Department for Business Innovation and Skills Finance Birmingham