More and more businesses are recognising the value of apprenticeships and their ability to supply the skilled workforce needed for the future.

This trend is reflected in the 58 per cent increase of apprenticeship starts in 2010/11 in comparison to the previous year*. Bournville College is an experienced training provider that works with a range of employers, helping them to upskill their workforce through apprenticeships.

In the last 12 months, Bournville College trained more than 1,100 apprentices in 144 organisations that have already recognised benefits of this flexible training scheme.

Take DPE Automotive in Birmingham that specialises in pressing, small assemblies, welding and production of bespoke car parts for companies such as Ford, Lear, Johnsons Control and Nissan. Richard DuRose, Manufacturing Manager, said: “In the current climate, it is very difficult to find skilled people.

"We feared that the skills of our sector may disappear with ageing workforce and that’s what promoted us to engage in apprenticeships and invest in the new generation of employees.”

Similarly, Bournville College partnered with DHL to offer apprenticeships to a number of employees working at DHL Freight in Dunstable.

Cathy Kirk, Customer Services Manager at DHL Freight, has been influential in ensuring that appropriate training was available to office staff at its Dunstable depot.

She said: “Apprenticeships enable us to shape up the skills of our employees in the way that suits our business. Apprenticeships don’t only lead to nationally recognised qualifications they also help apprentices build their confidence and serve as a proof of knowledge that they can do their job.

"All in all, skilled employees help to raise standards within a company itself and so I’d encourage more employers to sign up for apprenticeships.”

Birmingham Women’s Hospital, a centre of excellence providing specialist healthcare for women in the West Midlands, joined the national apprenticeship initiative in partnership with Bournville College to give young people a chance to gain practical skills.

The Trust is fully behind the initiative, working in partnership with Bournville College to ensure that everyone involved is able to benefit from the scheme.

The apprentices are visited by assessors from Bournville College who support and monitor their learning progress. Steve Stanier, Senior Human Resources Manager at Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trust, has been the driving force behind the apprenticeships and played a crucial part in setting up the scheme.

He said: ‘The Trust and the apprentices themselves embraced the scheme very positively. More employers should take responsibility for the training and development of their existing or future workforce and with the right funding and training provider this can be easily achieved.

"Our working relationship with Bournville College is an excellent one and we’re looking forward to continuing the partnership.”

Whatever the size of your organisation, Bournville College specialises in delivering apprenticeships within a range of industries. To discuss the requirements of your business, call Jennifer Johnson at Bournville College on 0121 477 1400 or email