Employers encouraged to explore apprenticeships to aid recovery

Employers are being encouraged to engage with a leading college group to see how apprenticeships can support the recovery of their business after the impact of Covid-19.

WCG (formerly Warwickshire College Group) is hosting a series of informative online live chats as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2021, which takes place from 8-14 February.

The college group is the largest college training provider for apprenticeships in the Midlands, training more than 2,500 apprentices each year and working with over 1,100 employers.

National Apprenticeship Week is an annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships and aims to showcase the benefits apprentices can bring to a business.

The online live chat sessions will be hosted by the heads of work-based learning at the college group and will cover a range of areas.

The first of four sessions will take place on Monday, February 8 from 11am to 12 noon and will focus on engineering. The second online live chat will be on business and professional apprenticeships and be held the following day from 11am to 12 noon.

On Wednesday, construction and motor vehicle apprenticeships will be showcased 11am to 12 noon and then finally the focus will shift to agriculture and horticulture on Thursday, February 11.

The sessions will take place in a traditional Q&A format, with the college sharing essential information for employers in-between questions.

The college group will also be hosting online chat services for prospective apprentices from 5pm to 6pm from Monday to Thursday during National Apprenticeship week.

WCG offers more than 50 apprenticeship standards across 12 industry sectors and boasts a 76 per cent overall apprenticeship completion rate, nine per cent above the national average.

Mark Eden, Director of Work-Based Learning at WCG, said: “National Apprenticeship Week is a celebration of everything that is great about apprentices and their employers.

“It is also a time to educate and ensure people are aware of the benefits apprenticeships can bring to businesses and individuals.

“With the current government incentives there has never been a better time for businesses to take on an apprentice. It remains the case - even in a post-pandemic economy - that apprentices are a cost-effective way of supporting your business and giving a long-term return on that initial investment.

“We are committed to supporting our employers and using our expertise to help them get the most out of apprenticeships. There can be a lot of misinterpretation around apprenticeships and we will be looking to address and clarify in these online live chats.” 

The Government’s apprenticeship incentive scheme closes on 31 March 2021. Ahead of the deadline businesses will be entitled to payments of £2,000 for apprentices aged between 16 and 24 and £1,500 for apprentices aged 25 and over. 

These time sensitive incentives are in addition to other incentives available on a national and regional basis for apprentices and their respective employers which WCG can assist with.

To reserve a free ticket for the online live chats and to find out more about apprenticeships and how they could benefit your business visit www.wcg.ac.uk/apprenticeships