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Talented apprentices and the energy they bring to businesses across the region are set to be celebrated as part of the 13th annual National Apprenticeship Week from 3-9 February 2020. With its theme of ‘Look Beyond’, the week will see events and activities designed to recognise and applaud apprenticeship success stories and highlight the benefits to employers who are thinking of taking on an apprentice.

Katy Urwin, Director of Apprenticeships at North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College said, “During National Apprenticeship Week, we’re asking employers to look beyond their usual hiring routes and learn from those who have already diversified their workforce through apprentices. We’re also calling on young people to look beyond traditional routes into employment and explore the diversity of career options and industries now available to them through apprenticeships. And finally, we’re asking parents and teachers to look beyond preconceptions around apprenticeships to understand the true value that they bring and to share this with young people.

“Apprenticeships bring enormous benefits to businesses across our communities. We’re very proud of our apprentices and we’re delighted to celebrate their achievements and the impact they bring to their employers as part of this special week.

“We would encourage any employers who are interested in finding out more to talk to our business engagement advisors and find out how we can help them to identify skills gaps, recruit the right apprentices and grow their own talent.”

As part of National Apprenticeship Week, the college will be opening its doors as part of a series of Super Saturdays enabling potential apprentices and their families to find out more and explore career choices. The events are due to take place as follows:

Saturday, 1 February 2020 (10am – 1pm)
Nuneaton Campus
Harrowbrook Campus

Saturday, 8 February 2020 (10am – 1pm)
Hinckley Campus
Wigston Campus

Apprenticeship fact file

As part of their programme, an apprentice must:
• Work with experienced staff
• Learn job-specific skills
• Be paid at least the national minimum wage for apprentices of £3.90 per hour.

Apprentices are required to spend 20% of their annual working hours on off the job training; this can include a mixture of:
• Theory work including classroom sessions, role-play, online learning, simulation exercises or manufacturer training
• Practical training such as shadowing, mentoring, industry visits or competitions
• Support and time for writing assignments.

NWSLC offers three levels of apprenticeships:
• Intermediate Level 2 (equivalent to five GCSEs)
• Advanced Level 3 (equivalent to three A Levels)
• Higher Level 4-6 (equivalent to a degree).

Spotlight on our talented apprentices

North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College is pleased introduce some of our inspirational apprentices.Gemma Lee Ruskin Design

Gemma Lee, Ruskin Design

An apprentice who started as a sewing machinist with a Wigston car interior specialist and rose to become operations manager within three years has been recognised with a prestigious award. Gemma Lee from Ruskin Design won Best Apprentice as part of the Leicestershire Live Women in Business Awards in 2019. Gemma started out as a sewing machinist with Ruskin Design, which creates upholstery for luxury car brands including Land Rover, Mercedes and Porsche. Gemma progressed to leading a small team, achieving an apprenticeship in team leadership which she passed with flying colours. Gemma excelled in the design field and worked hard to update her industry knowledge. She created an innovative centrepiece for Ruskin as part of its stand at the Great British Land Rover Show and went on to secure international recognition for meeting the brief to design the first ever vegan interior for a Land Rover.

Madeline Sinclair, Smart Apprentices

Madeline joined Smart Apprentices two years ago having completed a computing qualification at North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College. The company is the market leader in specialist apprenticeship software that captures evidence of skills, knowledge and behaviours.
Madeline works in an IT support role, helping organisations that carry out assessments on a range of apprenticeships and delivering training on how to use the Smart End Point Assessment (SEPA) system via online webinars. Her role requires knowledge and understanding of both the technical and non-technical aspects of the platform and she is skilled in being able to translate technical language into terms that are widely understood by those operating the system. Madeline achieved her Level 3 Apprenticeship for IT, Software, Web and Telecoms Professionals in October 2019.

Joel Wilson, M&O Building Contractors

Joel started a site carpentry apprenticeship with M&O Building Contractors in Broughton Astley and has been working alongside carpenters with a huge range of experience. M&O has a UK-wide contract with NHS hospitals, so Joel often works away from home. The college arranged for Joel to attend classes on a block release basis. His teammates enable him to tackle tasks independently, providing advice and assistance where needed. Project managers now ask for Joel to work on their projects because he has built up a great deal of experience and knowledge since starting his studies. Joel’s dedication and effort meant that he achieved his apprenticeship four months early taking just 20 months to complete and he has now progressed on to an advanced apprenticeship.

Sunny Najran – Jungheinrich UK Ltd

Sunny has got his sights firmly set on career progression since completing his apprenticeship in forklift truck maintenance. Sunny had previously studied engineering and was working in the pharmaceutical industry when the opportunity to join Jungheinrich UK Ltd as a forklift truck apprentice caught his eye. One of the world’s most successful intralogistics companies and a top UK employer, Jungheinrich provides solutions tailored to customers’ individual requirements including forklift truck supply and maintenance. As part of his apprenticeship, Sunny worked at Tesco in Lichfield helping them to keep their forklift trucks in service so that shelves would always be stocked in store. Having completed his Level 3 Apprenticeship this year, Sunny is now working for Jungheinrich on the premises of its client, The Pallet Network (TPN) at its Minworth hub on the outskirts of Birmingham. His role includes all aspects of forklift truck maintenance from the mechanical and electrical aspects, to fixing engine faults, as well as servicing and inspection.

Keep up to date with National Apprenticeship Week news by following @Apprenticeships on Twitter and National Apprenticeship Service on LinkedIn. To talk to the college team about how apprenticeships could help your business email or call 0330 058 3000.