National Apprenticeship Week (14-18 March) is celebrating the many products which are ‘Made by Apprentices’ and how apprentices can ‘Rise to the Top’.
In Worcestershire, there are many companies who offer excellent apprenticeship programmes, which make a range of goods and services, as well as companies who have seen their apprentices rise through their organisation.
Chief Executive of Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, Mike Ashton, started his career as an apprentice at Shell UK Ltd in Stanlow, Cheshire in 1972. His apprenticeship lasted for four years and consisted of two parts; education at Carlett Park FE College and the Shell Training Centre and work experience on the oil refinery units.
After two years, Mike began a three shift working cycle at Shell UK Ltd. This provided him with real experience of working life and key skills such as arriving on time each day and taking responsibility.
The Chamber remains keen to support apprenticeships today. In 2011, Abi Robbins joined the Chamber as an apprentice in the Corporate team, where she provided support to the HR, Finance and IT departments. Abi became the winner of the “Young Apprentice of the Year Centenary Award 2013″ and she continues to be a valuable member of staff as part of the HR department. In 2012 Rosie Boulanger began an apprenticeship in Business Administration at the Chamber’s Hereford office. Rosie was awarded with the Endeavour Award in 2015 from Herefordshire Group Training Association and took on a permanent role as a Business Development Executive at the Chamber. Yasmin Bent, Events Co-ordinator at the Chamber, also began as an apprentice in 2013. In 2015, the Chamber sponsored the Advanced Level Apprentice of the Year Award as part of the Worcestershire Apprenticeship Awards, another way in which they continue to support the future generation.
This week, Worcestershire’s apprentices, alongside their employers and training providers, are also being encouraged to celebrate the contributions that apprentices make to their workplace as well as the excellent products and services provided locally. Apprentices, alongside their employers, can Tweet a picture or video of themselves with items they have made or services they have provided with the hashtag #MadeByApprentices or #NAW2016 to join the national conversations. #WorcsApprentice should also be added for messages of support for apprenticeships within the County.
Mike Ashton, CEO of Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Apprenticeships provide young people with real experience of the world of work and are vital to help meet the county’s economic needs by developing a skilled workforce. My own apprenticeship was an invaluable learning experience which taught me some essential key skills, such as working with adults, taking responsibility and being a team player. The county has many initiatives which support apprenticeships and I hope that this week inspires more employers to consider taking on an apprentice”.
National Apprenticeship Week has drawn support from many local organisations including Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and Worcestershire County Council.
All details about Worcestershire Apprenticeships and local activities during Apprenticeship Week are available at www.worcsapprenticeships.org.uk.