Exciting careers and dynamic workplaces across Warwickshire and Leicestershire will take centre stage this week as part of the 12th annual National Apprenticeship Week. All campuses of North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College will be showcasing inspirational opportunities at events throughout the week designed to fire up enthusiasm for apprenticeships.
With job vacancies available now in events, digital marketing, administration and welding, the College is currently working with companies such as JRR Engineering and Stone Butterfly interiors in Leicester, Conference Care events in Hinckley, and Carpenter Surveyors in Nuneaton which are all looking for new talent to join their teams.
New apprentices could find themselves handling the administration at a doctor’s surgery in Lutterworth, learning to be a barista in a nursery coffee shop in Burbage, or looking after vulnerable adults in a care setting. Prospective apprentices are invited to come along to the College’s open event at its Nuneaton campus on Wednesday 6 March from 5pm to find out more. College students will be invited to special events that will highlight opportunities to progress on to an apprenticeship.
For local employers, the new MIRA Technology Institute near Nuneaton and Hinckley will open its doors on Tuesday 5 March at 10am to unveil its offer to businesses that operate within the automotive sector. Apprenticeships at the MTI cover the range of specialist automotive engineering qualifications including electric and hybrid vehicle maintenance, plus an associate project manager apprenticeship that could be useful to all types of business.
Other new apprenticeships include customer service specialist, digital marketer, event assistant, plus qualifications designed to suit multiple job roles within retail and hospitality. The customer service standard has been broadened to include back office elements such as data and customer relationship management.
In response to issues highlighted by local employers in the tech sector, the College is collaborating on a joint venture to increase the number of digital apprenticeships so that businesses can grow their own talent and future-proof their business in this burgeoning sector. Digital West Midlands is a collaboration between three partner colleges, Warwickshire College Group (WCG), Coventry College, and North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College.
The goal of National Apprenticeships Week is to demonstrate how companies can develop a skilled, motivated and loyal work force via tailored training based on their specific business needs. Katy Urwin, director of apprenticeships for the College said, “Perceptions of apprenticeships are now really starting to change, and we are seeing more and more interest all the time. Every day, thousands of apprentices are creating their own exciting careers and we are keen to hear from candidates who have the spirit to blaze a trail and give themselves a head start.
“The College already supports 1,800 apprentices across seven main sector areas serving more than 600 employers as well as key partnerships with Next plc, HORIBA MIRA, Impact Handling, Toyota and many more.”
Katy explained that employers who don’t pay the apprenticeship levy can get help from the government to pay for apprenticeship training. She said, “Non-levy paying employers only pay 10 percent towards the cost of training an apprentice and this will reduce to just 5 percent in April 2019. Organisations with fewer than 50 people working for them will not have to pay the 10 per cent contribution for an apprentice who is aged between 16-18, or 19-24 years if they are care-leavers or have an Education, Health and Care Plan. All employers receive a £1,000 bonus for hiring these apprentices.
“Apprentices get paid a competitive salary while they are training, with at least 20 percent of their time spent away from their workplace, usually at college. They benefit from hands-on experience that can supercharge their careers. It is even possible to follow an apprenticeship up to degree level with the tuition fees paid. Nearly 90 percent of apprentices continue in employment after completing their apprenticeship.”