“The expert in anything was once a beginner” – Helen Hayes
As someone who left school without much of a plan, I am eternally grateful for the chance to do an engineering apprenticeship. At the time, it was just what I needed. A mix of academic study and real world skills soon made me a very sought after employee. I was also able to go to university on the back of that and eventually into teaching. For many students, the prospect of three more years of ‘academic study’ coupled with a massive student loan repayment means that a degree is no longer the gold standard route to future employment.
At a recent Frome Business Breakfast local employers and training providers met to talk about how to make the most of youth training opportunities. Apprenticeships, work experience placements and training courses give much needed opportunities for businesses to grow a skilled team in an affordable and sustainable way. They offer young people a chance to be paid while they work and learn.
The government has introduced the Apprentice Levy, setting the goal of creating 3m extra apprenticeships by 2020. Money from the levy goes towards supporting training providers and trainees, although critics have called it just another business tax. Either way, there is now a massive pot of unspent government money that could be accessed by smaller Frome businesses.
On Thursday 19th July, Frome Town Council are hosting an Apprenticeship Conference. The event will feature experts who will explain how the levy can be used effectively and what resources and incentives are available in Frome. The Conference will also aim to highlight available apprenticeship positions and understand the different types of apprenticeship courses. The event is open to all interested organisations and people who might be beginners today but deserve to be experts tomorrow.