Apprenticeship Week 2014

On Wednesday 5 March 2014, as part of Apprenticeship Week,

Devon County Council proudly hosted and sponsored the annual Apprenticeship, Skills and Employment Event 2014 at Exeter Racecourse on 5th March.

Hundreds of young people met with training providers and potential employers to learn about the wide range of apprenticeship opportunities available. The event provided an interesting and interactive platform for young people to learn more about apprenticeships and how they can get a head start in exploring their chosen career. Hands-on activities gave participants a flavour of what apprenticeships are about and what it is to work in different business sectors.

A large number of employers took part in the event and were eager to meet motivated and ambitious apprentices and help them achieve their potential. Exhibitors were impressed with the enthusiasm and energy of the young people who attended the event.

Training providers with extensive experience in delivering apprenticeship provided guidance and advice on available programmes to gain knowledge and skills required for a successful career.

Apprenticeships and support for Devon’s young people are a priority for Devon County Council and it is focusing on working with businesses and young people to encourage take up of apprenticeships and highlight the value they bring to businesses.

The event started with a Business Breakfast which got together businesses that have taken on apprentices and employers that are new to apprenticeships.

Greg Fitzgerald from Galliford TryThe audience was keen to hear apprentices’ success stories and learn how easy the process of taking on an apprentice can be. Keynote speaker, Greg Fitzgerald, shared the story of his journey from apprentice to chief executive of construction company Galliford Try.

Feedback from businesses, schools, students and parents has been very positive, with attendees praising the event as an excellent gateway to alternative routes of education and employment. It was seen as a very informative and engaging event providing a wealth of opportunities to get involved and learn more about apprenticeships and the benefits they bring.

Apprenticeships give access to enthusiastic talent with fresh ideas and enable businesses to create the workforce with the right ethos and skill-set for their organisations.  Companies can grow their own talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce, while creating loyalty and continuity.

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth at Devon County Council, who gave the welcome address at the event, said: “It is crucial that we get more employers from a range of sectors on board and offering apprenticeships. Young people in Devon are our future workforce and it is vital to our economic growth that we attract and retain young talent within the county. We hope to see more businesses coming forward and taking on apprentices following the Apprenticeship event we held last week as part of this year’s National Apprenticeship Week.”

Apprenticeship fair 2014Devon County Council hopes that the event will inspire employers to pursue apprenticeship recruitment and encourage young people to embark on the exciting and rewarding apprenticeship journey.

The event was organised in partnership with Education Business Partnership South West (Careers South West) and the National Apprenticeship Service.