Apprenticeship Campaign underway!

Delighted to get my apprenticeship campaign officially underway last Friday with a successful launch event at Everyman Cinema in Oxted. It was fantastic that over 70 organisations were able to attend, and I was thrilled that more than 10 organisations pledged immediately to recruit an apprentice. Congratulations to Tandridge District Council’s new Chief Executive, Louise Round, who made the first pledge of the morning with a commitment to hire 3 apprentices. The launch event was kindly supported by Chalk Hills Bakery in Nutfield, and provided an opportunity for local firms to hear from other organisations that have benefited from hiring apprentices, as well as learn from the training providers how they can tailor an apprenticeship to their business needs. The event kicked off with presentations from renowned local businessman David Gold, the National Apprenticeship Service and East Surrey College, all highlighting the benefits of taking on an apprentice (see here for full details!). Also in attendance were Elements Lifestyle, an award winning Oxted-based business, Young Epilepsy, Southern Railway and the Orpheus Centre. I would like to say a huge thank you to all who were able to attend the event, and particularly those firms who have been able to make pledges. There is still a long way to go to hit our target of a 100, but the event was a great start to this campaign, and over the coming weeks and months I’ll be contacting other firms to let them know how they could benefit from taking on an apprentice. Here are a few key quotes from the event: David Gold stressed the need for greater opportunities for young people, saying: “Apprentices are a vital part of any business and we must take this situation seriously and support it. We ignore young people at our peril. My company Ann Summers and indeed West Ham Football club are great supporters of the apprenticeship scheme and we wish it well.” Commenting after the event, Barbara McNaughton, Director of Elements, an Award Winning business with an exemplary record of hiring apprentices said: “It was a great event to round off National Apprenticeship Week, which has been so inspiring. We are incredibly lucky that our MP Sam Gyimah is so committed to a cause that we at Elements Lifestyle know brings new skills, opportunities and confidence to the Apprentices as individual, as well as being a powerful force in keeping our local economy thriving.” Speaking after the event Rachel Robinson, from the National Apprenticeship Service said: “The event demonstrated that recruiting an apprentice is not as difficult as you may think. So if you are thinking of recruiting for a position in your organisation then why not offer the place to an apprentice? The National Apprenticeship Service will talk you through all the options and put you in touch with local training providers.” After the event Dave Warnes, Associate Director of Business Development at East Surrey College said: “The 100 in 100 campaign is a fantastic way to galvanise interest in Apprenticeships from local employers and help young people get a foot on the job ladder and gain new skills at the same time.”