In conjunction with National Apprenticeship Week 2017, local employers were invited to Eastleigh College to find out more about the benefits of Apprenticeships and why they are becoming an increasingly popular route to a successful career.
The College held a two-course lunch for employers, cooked and served by the College’s Hospitality and Catering students. Attendees included Knight Polson Limited, Thinking Space Systems, Norton Precision and Solent Plastics.
The companies were able to find out the true business benefits of taking on an apprentice by learning about other business’ experiences, particularly regarding recruitment. Speakers included W H Rowe, Future South and Knight Architectural Design.
Ian Knight, Director at Knight Architectural Design, was eager to speak to companies who hadn’t previously considered employing apprentices, “I like to think of myself as an evangelist for Apprenticeships. My recruitment technique is to take people on for work experience first before progressing this to the next level.”
Richard Hall from Future South was particularly interested in finding out how people like Ian approach the selection process to find the right candidates. He said, “Today I wanted to hear the experiences of other businesses and their methods to overcome the challenges they face in recruiting apprentices.”
Chris Herbert from Eastleigh Borough Council agreed, and was also interested in the recent changes to Apprenticeships and how to get more small businesses engaged. He added, “A lot of people don’t understand that Apprenticeships are jobs; they are jobs with training.”
Eastleigh College is one of the largest providers of Apprenticeships in the region with 9,000 Apprentices currently in learning, and is keen to help the local community better understand how Apprenticeships work and the benefits they provide for both individuals and businesses.
Apprenticeships are available in over 1,500 job roles and give young people the opportunity to gain work experience and a wage in addition to a nationally recognised qualification. 89% of Apprenticeship employers say that Apprenticeships have helped their business improve the quality of their product or service1, and 71% of Apprentices stay with the same employer once qualified.
One of Eastleigh College's governors, Councillor Judith Grajewski, has been appointed Local Authority Director of Solent LEP. This Local Enterprise Partnership brings the business community together with the further education and higher education sector to ensure a prosperous and sustainable economic future in the region.
Eastleigh College has been awarded AoC Beacon Status in two areas, in recognition of its excellent support for students, and for the College’s work with employers, providing professional training and delivering skills to help grow the economy.