Wiltshire College & University Centre is bucking the trend when it comes to apprenticeships.
Apprenticeship start figures showed a 110 per cent increase in June 2018 compared with the same time two years ago, a better comparator than last year, when there was a nationwide drop in starts following the introduction of the levy the previous month.
Nationally, the number of apprentices starting in June 2018 were down at 22,300 compared with 37,000 in 2016 according to the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s apprenticeship statistics update, although those latest figures have not been finalised and this number is certain to change.
Tony Basham, Director of Business and Partnerships, said: “We delighted that our apprenticeship numbers continue to grow and pride ourselves on being excellent providers of apprenticeships, working closely with both the employer and the apprentice throughout.
“The number of employers we work with is continuing to expand and apprentices are bringing the skills business need to move forwards in terms of productivity and growth.
“There is also a clear benefit to individuals in the local area who have more opportunity to embark on a career path and earn while they learn.
“It’s exciting times and we’re confident about matching people’s ambitions with an apprenticeship.”
The College has enjoyed a successful year for apprenticeships, with former apprentice Michael Baller from GoSkydive most recently winning the Rolls Royce Advanced Apprentice of the Year at the South West Regional Apprenticeship Awards in September.
It was double delight as the company, which is based on the outskirts of Salisbury and works with the College to offer the only skydiving apprenticeship of its kind in the world, also picked up the SME Employer of the Year award.
Michael also won the Principal’s Outstanding Apprentice of the Year award the College’s dedicated Apprenticeship Awards in March.
In November 2017 hard-landscaping apprentice Adam McGarry was crowned number 1 in the world for winning a Gold medal at the prestigious WorldSkills final and we are excited that Doug Beck, our current apprentice in the same area, has also made it to the finals and will compete at the three-day competition in November.
Wiltshire College & University Centre offers more than 70 individual apprenticeships at various levels from intermediate to higher.
Apprenticeships offer an alternative to traditional learning, giving apprentices the opportunity to earn whilst the skills needed to gain nationally recognised qualification whilst working alongside experienced staff in the work place.
As well as being an ideal route for anyone wanting to kick-start a specific career, an apprenticeship is a great way for employers to upskill their existing workforce.
For more information on apprenticeships visit http://www.wiltshire.ac.uk/training/apprenticeships