On Monday I had the pleasure of supporting a graduation and awards ceremony held by The Development Manager. They are a local success story employing 33 including four apprentices. They currently have over 140 technical and digital apprentices on their books. By coincidence on Thursday I also attended the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Group Training Association awards evening. They support the training needs of dozens of local businesses like Worcester Bosch, Mazak, The NHS Trust as well the City Council and even Worcestershire Cricket Club.

Apprenticeships have many advantages. The UK has a skills gap, employers are struggling to find enough suitably qualified people. Compared to university places, apprenticeships allow a far greater range of people to train, essentially because they increase access by allowing people to work and earn money at the same time as they are training.

All businesses are able to access the Apprenticeship Levy and large employers have to pay a compulsory 0.5% of their total annual wage bill into the Levy. This means that unscrupulous employers cannot get away with doing no training and then steal newly trained staff from other employers that do invest properly in training.

Apprentices do not have any tuition fees to pay and so do not have a student loan to pay back. Many people really thrive having the opportunity to put in place what they are learning directly into their job. Apprenticeships provide structure for people to develop their careers, with clear progression routes available from one apprenticeship to the next.


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