National Apprenticeship Week had a positive start at Milestones Museum in Basingstoke (From Basingstoke Gazette)
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National Apprenticeship Week had a positive start at Milestones Museum in Basingstoke
APPRENTICESHIPS and their benefits to jobseekers and employers were put in the spotlight at a special event in Basingstoke.
Hosted by the National Apprenticeship Service, a business lunch was held at Milestones Museum on Monday and aimed to highlight the benefits of employing an apprentice. The event was organised to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week Guest speaker Peter Bewsey was full of praise for the value of apprenticeships.
A former chief executive of National Car Parks, Peter, who was also group chief executive of Chelsea Village plc, now known as Chelsea FC plc, is the managing director of Executive Help Limited, based in Rotherwick.
He spoke of his positive experiences when he was a young apprentice working for GEC Engineering.
Describing apprenticeships as “absolutely brilliant,” he said they are a great way for young people to learn new skills while earning a wage and benefiting from other people’s experience.
Peter said: “One of the mistakes that British industry has made over the last 20 years is discounting experience – experience is very important.”
Noting the current economic climate, where businesses are making cutbacks, he warned: “If you cut back on investment and training for youngsters, you are going to have an eternal problem and things will get worse. I can’t stress enough about how important it is to invest in the young.”
He recalled the occasion when a very intuitive commercial apprentice working for a subsidiary of NCP, GreenFlag, suggested customers should receive £10 if the car breakdown company does not reach them within 45 minutes. GreenFlag went ahead with the idea, causing a debate in the industry and gaining headline news.
Peter said: “Due to listening to a young apprentice, we actually went from 185,000 members to 2.75 million – it was a fantastic marketing ploy. It just proves that in life, if you listen to people and give them a say, you can go places.”
While at Milestones, Peter chatted with 17-year-old Cameron Burns, who is an apprentice service engineer at repair and maintenance company Daly CBM, based in Lennox Road, Basingstoke.
Having been a full-time apprentice for six months, Cameron said he enjoys earning while he learns.
“I go to BCoT once a week, while the rest of the time I’m working at Daly,” he added. “It’s great– there’s a lot of learning and a variety of different jobs I have to do, so it’s not the same thing every day. One day I might be in McDonald’s and on another I might be at a Travelodge, or at a Wetherspoon, working on their machines.”
Among those at the event were Laura and Steve Butler, who run Fresh and Clean Services, currently based in Cufaude Lane, Bramley.
Steve said: “We’ve been growing over the last 18 months and we’re looking for a business admin apprentice to help us run our office after we’ve moved in a few months.”
Laura said: “It’s been a useful event as I didn’t realise there were so many different apprenticeship providers and that so many people have had such positive experiences with apprentices.”
Jill McDonagh, membership manager at Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, spoke highly of a new apprentice Jodie Thomas, taken on last month, at the organisation’s office in Chineham.
“She’s fantastic – she picks things up really quickly and is very inquisitive,” said Jill.
Lee Thomas, employer account manager at National Apprenticeship Service, spoke of the launch of a new of £1,500 Government grant for small and medium-size enterprises to hire apprentices aged between 16 and 18.
He also discussed the introduction of new Higher Apprenticeships, going up to degree level.
To find our more visit apprenticeships.org.uk.