Cornish employers turn out in force to receive Apprenticeship training advice from industry experts and a leading Cornish College.

Talks covered the new Apprenticeship standards to be introduced in 2018 and changes employers will face, as well as the all-important Apprenticeship Levy which was introduced in early 2017.

Guest speakers James Gazzard from WES Group and Apprentice Sam Morley were able to discuss their experience of Apprenticeship training, sharing their knowledge with the audience.

Group Sales and Marketing Manager from WES Group, James Gazzard said: “We have invested heavily in our Apprentice scheme over the last decade and are reaping the rewards as a number of talented individuals complete their training and become highly valued members of our team. Not only do we benefit from an injection of enthusiasm and a modern skill set, we have also seen a general increase in staff morale and improved productivity across the board.”

Employers were also able to attend two out of three workshops, ‘College days, off-the-job training and how this can benefit the Apprentice and the business’, ‘Using Apprenticeships to upskill existing members of staff’ and finally ‘Employment law and understanding the Apprenticeship levy’ which was run by guest speaker and expert from Foot Anstey LLP’s employment team, James Collings.

James Collings said: “Apprenticeships are a key ingredient in the ongoing drive towards implementing a highly skilled and productive workforce within the region and to driving the regional economy. As with almost any other such initiative however, the benefits can only be realised effectively if proper thought and consideration is applied to it. Getting your scheme set up correctly from the outset both from a practical and legal perspective, and setting expectations clearly for both new and existing staff is critical.”

Adele Bull, Business Programme Team leader said, “I am delighted that so many employers attended the Apprenticeship conference. Truro and Penwith College continues to see the substantial business impact being made by its Apprenticeship programmes, and we are confident that our continued rollout of Apprenticeship Standards can ensure businesses receive outstanding provision and support from an outstanding provider.

We know here in Cornwall there is a continued need to small and medium sized businesses (SMEs), both for those that pay the levy and those that don’t, to help them to design and implement effective Apprenticeship schemes.  We are committed towards ensuring a sustainable difference is made and we welcome the support of such organizations to help us with this journey.”
The conference for many employers is the first element of support received from Truro and Penwith College, who will continue working with employers closely over coming months to ensure their programme deliver results for the business and outstanding experiences for the Apprentices in their workplace.