Business owners and and directors met at the University of Essex to discuss Apprenticeships, the Apprenticeship Levy and how businesses in Essex can develop their training programmes.
Organised by the Essex branch of the Institute of Directors, the meeting included a panel of apprenticeship experts, all of whom were able to provide up to date advice, guidance and recommendations on training opportunities across the county. The panel included:
Sarah Morton, Southend Regional Manager, Career Ready
Sarah Morton is South Essex Regional Manager for Career Ready, a national charity working with over 250 schools and colleges to prepare young people for work. They specialise in raising awareness of work-based training opportunities and are cited in government guidance for best practice. As a result of their good practice, 20% of employer partners have recruited at least one student, often on an apprenticeship.
Samantha Rope, Group HR Director for Seetec
As Group HR Director for Seetec, Sam has developed an internal apprenticeship programme which incorporates apprenticeship provision within the Group Talent and Succession Strategy which has resulted in 72 internal leaders, managers and front line employees starting internal apprenticeships in May. In addition, she is leading the development new sector specific trailblazer apprenticeships with other HRDs to build future provision. With 22 years’ experience in the corporate world, Sam has held several Director of HR roles both in the public and private sector. Prior to moving into HR she held several Director level roles providing outsourced Recruitment and HR services to leading organisations both in the UK and Australia.
Dr Jill Andreanoff, Project Manager, Degree & Higher Apprenticeships at University of Essex
Dr Jill Andreanoff has been instrumental in the delivery and implementation of the new Degree & Higher Apprenticeships at the University of Essex within the Faculties of Health and Human Science and Computer Science and Engineering. She has worked within the higher education sector for over 17 years, three of those with the University of Essex. She has a background of developing and delivering work based learning programmes. Jill fully supports the Government’s apprenticeship agenda and the introduction of the levy, that offers excellent opportunities for businesses of all sizes.
Joseph Valente is the 2015 winner of the BBC's Apprentice and the founder of Impragas.
Having been expelled from school at 15, Joseph went on to complete an apprenticeship at a local plumbing and heating firm. A few years in and with his qualifications under his belt, Joseph took out a personal loan, bought a van and founded ImpraGas. The business has grown at a rapid rate and now covers most of the South East moving through to the Midlands. Joseph is passionate about giving other young people the opportunities he was given through an apprenticeship. He regularly works with the local schools in his area offering work experience and full apprenticeships to talented students.
Gemma Sharpe, Project Management Apprentice, Royal Mail
Gemma Sharpe is a 20 year old apprentice working for Royal Mail on a two-year Project Management scheme. She has recently completed her Level 4 NVQ in Project Management as part of this scheme and hopes to off-board in a position as a deployment lead later this year. Gemma was a sixth form school leaver upon starting her apprenticeship, with multiple paths to choose from, including university.
Some words from the speakers
“It was fantastic to join with members of the business community to explore how apprenticeships can help businesses grow - whether it is as a way of recruiting impressive young people or enabling existing employees to develop their skills.” Sarah Morton - Southend Regional Manager, Career Ready
This was a great forum to share ideas on how to get the best from the new Apprenticeship Levy. The new standards will be a key enabler for Seetec to continue support our employees with their professional development and enable our business growth. As a lead employer on several special interest groups, they provide a great opportunity for business leaders to shape the future provision of work based learning. Samantha Rope, Group HR Director for Seetec
An excellent opportunity to spread the word about this exciting new opportunity for business of all sizes. It is apparent that many levy payers are still unaware of how to best utilise their apprenticeship levy and many smaller ‘non-levied’ employers are yet to discover how they too can capitalise on the apprenticeship agenda. There are many advantages to employing an apprentice in addition to the financial incentives, whether that is a new recruit or upskilling existing employees. It promotes loyalty, with the majority of higher level apprentices staying with their employer upon completion in addition to giving employers the opportunity to mould the apprentice to suit their business needs. At the University of Essex we are keen to collaborate with businesses through membership of our Apprenticeship Employer Group to ensure that our provision meets their future skills needs. Dr Jill Andreanoff, Project Manager Degree & Higher Apprenticeships, Strategic Planning & Change Section, University of Essex
Photos from the event: