Mims Davies MP visited Eastleigh College during National Apprenticeship Week 2016 to find out more about our Apprenticeship provision and our partnerships with local businesses. Mims was delighted to meet local employers who currently have Apprentices through the College, as well as a range of local Apprentices.
Employers included plumbing and gas company K.A Watts, engineering company W.H. Rowe, gas maintenance company Gasworks Ltd, and plumbing and gas company First Call Heating Ltd. They discussed with Mims the challenges they face in recruiting Apprentices, and also how Apprentices benefit their company in ways such as being able to train their own workforce. Ashley House, from Gasworks Ltd, highlighted “The most productive way to get engineers for the future is to train them from the beginning.”
Mims also spoke to several Technology Apprentices studying subjects such as Carpentry and Gas, who explained why they chose to study an Apprenticeship and how it benefits them. Conner Meary, Level 2 Wood Occupations Apprentice, said “I think an Apprenticeship entices you more than full-time courses, you’re getting paid for something you enjoy.”
Paul Manship from W.H. Rowe was keen to point out that Apprenticeships can lead to a wide range of opportunities, “What [W.H Rowe] try to do is open up other avenues, so [our Apprentices] don’t have to stay as a machinist or whatever they start off as – they could move up into my position if they wanted to! We have Directors at our company who started off as Apprentices or Trainees.”
After hearing from the employers and Apprentices, Mims felt she had a much better understanding of the Apprenticeship landscape from both perspectives, “It’s clear that some youngsters aren’t always work-ready aged 16, which is something we can work on with Schools and Colleges.
“As a country we are creative and diverse, and without Apprenticeships we have some areas which are simply dying because we’re not passing on those skills sets. Places like Eastleigh College who are bringing through our Gas Engineers and Carpenters are really important; we will lose those skills and be forever looking for people to fill those gaps if we don’t continue this work.”
Eastleigh College is the third largest provider of adult Apprenticeships in 2014/15, and currently has over 9,000 Apprentices in learning. They offer over 50 different Apprenticeship subjects and work with over 1,100 employers in the region.
The College is working with an increasing number of local employers as part of the recently announced Apprenticeship Levy, which states that employers with a payroll bill over £3 million will be required to pay a Government contribution. The Levy will assist the Government in meeting the ‘three million Apprenticeship starts by 2020’ target, which was announced recently.
To find out more about Apprenticeships at Eastleigh College or how the College can help you get the best value possible from your levy contributions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 023 8091 1226.