Weston College celebrates Apprenticeship Week success
By YouPR | Monday, March 18, 2013, 13:55
National Apprenticeship Week was marked at Weston College by a successful pop-up shop and Open Evening event.
Brian Howe and James Wilmot
The pop-up shop, in Weston's Sovereign Centre, ran for a week and was manned by staff and apprentices keen to pass on their knowledge of Apprenticeships and how employment training can benefit employers and employees.
Activities included learning how to cook a BLT, building a brick wall, hairdressing and beauty demonstrations and exploring child development with toys from different time periods.
The shop attracted hundreds of people keen to find out what's on offer in terms of apprenticeships with Weston College, and there was a good turnout at the College's Apprenticeship Open Evening last Wednesday (March 13)
James Wilmot, Weston College's Apprenticeship Recruitment Coordinator, said: "We've had a lot of footfall at the shop and we've also picked up several vacancies for employers who've been in and taken a look at what we have to offer. Lots of potential apprentices visited too.
"This week has been a great opportunity to share our knowledge and expertise in the field of apprenticeships. This is a market that is growing quickly and many people are now seeing the benefit of apprenticeships in a job market that can be challenging for young people."
In the last year the College has seen a 300 per cent growth in employer work placements, which has resulted in lots of vacancies as young people look for alternatives in a tough job market. Employers have also found them to be a very useful way of training 'on-the-job', with 90 per cent of Weston College apprentices being offered a permanent position.
Weston College can help employers apply for a new grant of £1500 that is available. Employers should contact the Business Enterprise Centre at the College (01934 411594) to find out if they may be eligible for this grant.
Weston College is the biggest facilitator of apprenticeship programmes in the region and its Business and Enterprise Centre (BEC), based at the South West Skills Campus on Locking Road, was set up to provide businesses with relevant and flexible training programmes.
The College has seen a 77 per cent growth in apprenticeship applications, with more than 20 new apprenticeship job vacancies each month.
Brian Howe, Weston College's Hospitality course coordinator, was on hand in the Sovereign Centre to teach people how to make the perfect BLT.
"It sounds simple," he said, "but you'd be surprised at the number of young people who haven't really cooked anything before. When I show them how it's done they come away surprised and delighted by what they have achieved – and that is what an apprenticeship is all about. You learn to unlock hidden skills and finish each day feeling like you've done something worthwhile."
(Pic shows Brian Howe and James Wilmot at the Weston College Apprenticeships pop-up shop)