Minister’s visit champions 100 in 100 apprenticeship campaign and the need for more apprentices in the region
Minister for Employment, Mims Davies MP from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) visited Leeds City College’s Printworks Campus during National Apprenticeship Week to promote apprenticeships in the region.
The minister met with Cheryl Smith, Principal of Printworks Campus, Lee Pryor, Director of Apprenticeships, Charlie Grayson, Head of Business & Commercial Development and several apprentices.
The minister, who is passionate about supporting young people and adults to gain the necessary skills and secure jobs now and in the future, helped launch the college’s 100 in 100 campaign, encouraging employers to consider taking on an apprentice.
The minister said: “At DWP we’re all about getting people ready to take local roles, and Leeds City College is doing a fantastic job working with employers across Yorkshire, to get them the people and skills they need.
“Apprenticeships aren’t just for young people, they can support people at any age or any career stage – and make sure we have the workforce we need, now, and for the future.”
“I’m absolutely behind the effort to get 100 more employers to step forward and take on some amazing apprentices, and future-proof their business by getting talent through the door.”
The minister also spoke to hospitality, engineering, events management and digital marketing apprentices on how the benefits of an apprenticeship have helped them to progress on to high level apprenticeships or full-time employment.
Events and projects manager, Laura Prince, started out as a Level 3 Advanced Business Administration apprentice at the college before progressing on to a Level 4 Higher Project Management apprenticeship in 2018. Laura now oversees four apprentices and credits the college for helping her achieve her goal.
She said: “Both my apprenticeships have supported my career progression, as I learnt relevant skills such as project management whilst also immersing myself in responsibilities within the organisation I work for.
“One of the biggest benefits I felt after completing my apprenticeships was that I had three years of work experience in events and projects rather than feeling like I had to start from scratch.”
Hospitality Team Member Apprentice, Taylor Butler, who has a visual and hearing impairment, has set his sights on becoming a pastry chef.
Taylor started on an Entry 3 in hospitality and catering in 2018 at college – an opportunity he says pushed him to pursue opportunities in the industry.
Taylor said: “Being at Leeds City College has been a great experience and encouraged learners like myself not to be worried because there is always someone to speak to and help you achieve your goals.
“Coming to college has made me more confident and doing what I am passionate about is a bonus.”
Charlie Grayson, Head of Commercial and Business Engagement at Leeds City College, said: “For employers, the decision to take on an apprentice is an important one. A number of vital industries across the country are experiencing acute skills shortages, this includes healthcare and engineering.
“Creating opportunities for learners wanting to study for an apprenticeship in industries that are struggling to recruit will open a new potential source of talent for these critical industries.
“It is key for us, as an education provider, to build relationships with employers and emphasise the benefits of apprenticeships. The 100 in 100 campaign is part of a plan that will ensure that apprentices are supported to complete their training and that employers are incentivised effectively to support them in their roles.”
The college aims to ensure that its apprenticeship provision continues to support the region’s businesses to secure the right apprentices, creating accessible opportunities for those looking to change their career or progress within their chosen industry.