Friday, 1 January 2010

Importance of Apprenticeships

AN ENGINEER from Hatton is among 75 apprentices at Burton College celebrating their achievements.

The group, who have completed their foundation and advance apprenticeships in a range of areas, celebrated their success in an informal presentation evening held at the Lichfield Street campus.

Apprenticeships included engineering, decorative occupations, wood occupations, hairdressing, customer service and motor vehicle maintenance.

Among those celebrating was Andrew Redfern, 26, from Hatton, who works at LH Group Services, in Barton-under-Needwood.

After successfully completing his advanced apprenticeship in engineering well in advance of the completion date, Mr Redfern - who was named apprentice of the year by his employer - has now progressed on to studying for a foundation degree at the college.

Joining the ceremony were representatives from companies in the area who have provided the students with their work-related training, including International Power Ltd, LH Group Services, Coleman
Hydraulics and Bell Equipment UK Ltd.

Howard Boswell, the college's director of employer engagement and marketing said: "Apprenticeships have an important role to play in alleviating the current skills shortage being witnessed across the region and one of the college's major roles is to ensure that companies, sub-contractors and small owner-managed businesses have access to highly skilled young craftspeople across a wide range of trades.

"The importance of apprenticeships can be illustrated by the fact that the college was recently awarded a £2.4 million contract by the Learning and Skills Council to deliver almost 700 work-based apprenticeships in the forthcoming year, in partnership with local companies in East Staffordshire and South Derbyshire, representing a 30 per cent increase in last year's contract.

"To succeed you need to show dedication and commitment and this presentation provides the opportunity for the college to acknowledge this.

"In addition, it is also a real indication of the support and commitment the College receives from many local employers which enables young people to undertake work based training.

"All the students now have the knowledge and experience to take the first steps on the ladder to a successful and rewarding career."

College principal and chief executive Keith Norris said: "Celebrating the achievements of successful students is one of the most rewarding duties I have."

Article courtesy of Burton Mail