Strode College joins Apprenticeship Week Drive
Strode College in Street has joined forces with Wells MP Tessa Munt and Party Packs of Westbury-sub-Mendip for National Apprenticeship Week (March 11-15).
The aim is to raise awareness of the benefits of apprenticeships to businesses and young people. The college is training a growing number of apprentices for businesses across Somerset. Party Packs is an online mail-order company providing party supplies to businesses and individuals. Strode College helped the company recruit three apprentices who are also training with Strode College to gain an advanced apprenticeship in Business Administration.
Kate Turner set up Party Packs 26 years ago and employs 25 staff. Kate said: “We need more staff to help grow the business, but in the current economic climate I was concerned about taking on another full-time member of staff.
“I wasn’t sure about apprenticeships to start with as I was concerned they were a way for employers to get cheap labour, but having seen how much my business and the apprentices have benefited, I am now hugely enthusiastic about the scheme.”
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Party Packs apprentice Naomi Spearey, 17, of Draycott, said: “I’ve learnt so much about how business works. I get involved in many different aspects of the company. I also go to Strode College every fortnight and Strode’s assessors visit us at work.”
Ms Munt, who visited the company to find out how the scheme is working, said: “Demand for apprenticeships has grown significantly in the past year. This is in part due to the £1,500 grant that is available to eligible small and medium businesses when they employ an apprentice, but it is also due to an increased awareness of the real benefits that apprentices bring to business.
“Party Packs is a fantastic example of how a local company has embraced the scheme to grow and improve the business while providing great work and training opportunities.”
Graham Knight, head of business development at Strode said: “There are many local companies that need people who are keen to learn, prepared to work hard and contribute to the company. There are also many people who want to start work while continuing their education in some way.
“At Strode we bring these people together and help businesses plan and deliver apprenticeships that are of real value for them and their apprentices.
“We are delighted to have seen an increase in the demand for apprentices across Somerset. However, there are many more young people who would like to take up an apprenticeship, and this will only be possible if more employers make opportunities available.”
The £1,500 Apprenticeship Grant was introduced by the Government last year to encourage businesses with less than 1,000 employees to take on an apprentice. Eligible employers can claim it until December 2013.
For more information about apprenticeships call Strode College apprenticeship team on: 01458 844553.