Why Gen II's apprentices are bucking national trend
Last updated at 12:32, Friday, 21 September 2012
Outstanding trainees, local business support and the demand for skills are the reasons why one West Cumbrian training provider is bucking the trend, according to its chief executive.
Mike Smith, of Gen II Training at Lillyhall, spoke with pride following news that the firm has once again recruited record-breaking numbers of apprentices.
More than 260 young people were recruited this year – a 10 per cent increase on last year’s figures.
The number of female apprentices – 17 per cent – is in stark contrast to the national average of just three per cent.
Mr Smith said: “We have gone from being a local training provider to being in the top three per cent nationally and we have enjoyed 12 successful years in business.
“The demand is there for training young people in engineering and manufacturing apprenticeships. There are opportunities with employers because of skills shortages.
“We listen to what local businesses really need from apprentices and our training is tailored to meet that.”
The provider recruits young people to match the number of vacancies with local employers, which means around 98 per cent of trainees move straight into employment after finishing their programme.
Mr Smith also added that the quality of provisions keeps firms coming back for skilled trainees who have been trained for the work environment in areas such as health and safety, attendance and attitude.
Gen II, which also has centres in Carlisle and Barrow, has diverged over the years, offering a range of apprenticeships outside of engineering and industry.
It now provides the likes of business administration, customer care, logistics, and recently won a contract with Cumbria County Council to support apprentice training with Cumbria Fire Service.
“These new programmes have been developed on the back of us achieving grade one outstanding status from Ofsted, although our core is still engineering and manufacturing,” Mr Smith said.
“The fact that we offer higher education programmes for learners also helps to keep us in the top few per cent nationally. It means young people are knocking down our door to train with us, get a good job and have a successful career afterwards.”
The company is now working alongside international firms in Spain and the United Arab Emirates to offer training models and programmes for businesses there.
Mr Smith said if the business continued to grow at this rate, he envisaged Gen II Training with centres around the UK and a doubled workforce.
First published at 11:50, Friday, 21 September 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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