Building business through Apprenticeships

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Issued on Friday 20 June 2008

Apprentices: the building blocks to successful business

Helping businesses to develop and build skilled workforces is one of the top
priorities of Government and Apprenticeships are a very practical and cost
effective way to do this, Skills Secretary, John Denham said today during an
event to encourage more businesses to take on apprentices.

Speaking at HMS Sultan, Hants, he said, “I encourage employers in the
region to take on more apprentices. They are a great investment, with many
future managers being developed through the apprenticeship programme."
He went on to say, "Apprenticeships give young people the good training that
can lead to the best jobs. We’re going to make sure that every young person
with the ability and desire can get one."

The event, Building skilled workforces through Apprenticeships,
organised by the Apprenticeship Ambassadors Network (AAN) in partnership
with leading training provider Flagship Training, was aimed at employers in
the region, particularly those in the public sector, where there is huge potential
for developing Apprenticeship programmes.

Referring to the TUC’s recent report Apprenticeships: Skilling the
Regions?, the Secretary of State noted that while the numbers of individuals
starting Apprenticeships in the South East had grown by 11.6 per cent, figures
in the region and London remained low compared to the rest of the country.

He said, “It’s encouraging to see the figures increasing but what we really
need is more employers to take on Apprentices. There are literally thousands
of young people looking for apprenticeships but we don’t have enough
employers willing to offer them opportunities. Government is committed to
supporting employers through funding and other initiatives such as direct
payment incentive programmes.”

Key speakers included Nigel Ward, Apprentice Delivery Manager for Network
Rail, which owns and operates Britain’s rail infrastructure. The company
currently has over 600 apprentices pursuing different frameworks. Alan Lazell
of London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council, spoke about the
programme that has been introduced to help the Council deliver some of its
key business objectives including regeneration and recruitment, while Angela
McKeever of London Borough of Ealing Council provided valuable insight on
the practicalities of starting a programme. Capt Graham Watts, of the Royal
Naval School of Engineering spoke about the benefits to the Royal Navy of
Apprenticeship Training.


Note to editors

Photography and interviews available on request. Please contact Anne
McCaffrey or Paula Vellett at 020 8572 8258 or email

Note for information

      Photographs and case studies are available upon request.

      Sir Roy Gardner is Chairman of Compass Group Plc and Chair of     the
       Ambassadors Apprenticeship Network (AAN).            The AAN is    an
       employer-led body established in 2006 by The Chancellor of        the
       Exchequer, Secretary of State for Education and Skills and        the
       Chairman of the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). It aims to:

          o Champion Apprenticeships to employers of all sizes to increase
            take up, particularly in sectors of poor penetration and to help
            promote diversity
          o Advise and help employers to improve Apprenticeship outcomes
          o Provide feedback to Government, LSC and the Sector Skills
            Development Agency on issues and policy with affect the quality
            and effectiveness of Apprenticeships

      The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) exists to make England better
       skilled and more competitive. The LSC is responsible for ensuring the
      availability of high-quality education and training for everyone. It has a
      single goal: to improve the skills of England’s young people and adults
      to world class standards. The LSC’s vision is that young people and
      adults in England have knowledge and skills matching the best in the
      world and are part of a truly competitive workforce. It works nationally,
      regionally and locally to deliver this ambition on behalf of learners and

For   more      information    about         the      AAN      please      visit

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