Apprenticeships Live in Andover
13 Feb 12
The Lights Andover was the place to be on the snowy morning of Friday 10 February as Jodi Fair, Head of Employer Accounts for the National Apprenticeship Scheme (NAS) addressed the Chamber’s Area Committee, Chamber members and guests as part of National Apprenticeship Week. The event hosted by Test Valley Borough Council in association with Hampshire Chamber of Commerce attracted 30 delegates who all had the opportunity to receive first hand experience of apprentices and also make the connections that could lead to businesses considering and taking on apprenticeships.
The aim of the event was to inform on the basics and business benefits, but more importantly to advise on the steps to make things happen and getting started. Jodi spoke from personal experience of being an apprentice in terms of providing a first job, confidence and building of character. She then went on to mention the positive benefits apprentices bring to businesses as well as the process for unlocking financial incentives outlined by the Government, currently estimated as being in the region of £1.5m.
Compère for the event was Amanda Sayers, Vice Chair of the Chamber’s Andover Area Committee and Business Operations Manager for PDM Training and Consultancy. Amanda said, “It is important that businesses understand that they can obtain funding, in some cases up to 100% of the cost of training and that the process can be swift. The event, which we hope to run again, certainly brought businesses and NAS together and has helped break through the barriers.”
Co-host David Gleave, Economic Development Manager for Test Valley Borough Council, was equally positive. David said, “Apprenticeships come in all sectors and for all types of business. For those businesses that were unable to attend, there is a wealth of advice on the NAS website and locally, there are advisors who can help push the process forward.”
Ian Welland, Head of Area Development for co-hosts Hampshire Chamber of Commerce said, “Test Valley received 170 pledges for businesses last year of which 90 started as part of the commendable ‘111 in 2011’ campaign. The Chamber cannot emphasise the dual benefits for employers and apprenticeships and it was refreshing to see the interest created in the room during the Apprenticeship Live event.”