Apprenticeships are proven to make a workforce more effective, productive and competitive and are a great way to fill a skills gap and so it’s natural they appeal to employers.
Young people are enticed by the opportunity to gain a respected qualification through a combination of study and practical hands-on experience while earning a wage. Add to this an environment of increasing university fees and the reduction in financial support for those in full-time education and it’s no surprise that the number of apprenticeships is on the increase.
But for the employer, recruiting the right person can be costly and time consuming. City College has been delivering high-quality apprenticeships for over 30 years so business owners and managers can relax, sit back and make the most of its expertise, leaving the college to find the right apprentice and get the programme up and running.
Hope Spivey is a Level 2 Business Administration Apprentice at Laplock Technology, a company that specialises in providing USB memory sticks for trade suppliers. The company can provide all sorts of designs for marketing purposes and, with a factory in Shenzhen, is able to sell at Chinese prices with UK quality service and supply.
Explaining her decision to become an apprentice, Hope said: “I was trapped in the position of not being able to get a job because of a lack of experience and no job, meaning I could not get experience. Seeking an apprenticeship seemed a good way forward, giving me the chance to get the skills and experience I needed.
“I chose City College because I had studied there previously and I knew I would get great tutors and all the support and encouragement I might need in a really positive and enjoyable environment. The college’s central location was a real benefit, as was the easy, affordable parking.
“I only go one day a week so don’t consider myself a real student; but I always look forward to the day and enjoy it while I’m there. Getting out of the working environment in this way is great, giving me the chance to reflect on my role and the activities I’m responsible for, which helps me embed my learning.
“I’ve also been really lucky with my employer. Laplock have a brilliant attitude. They’re flexible and have always supported my when I have assignments or projects to complete.”
Hope is one of three apprentices at Laplock Technology. Explaining the company’s commitment to apprenticeships, manager of Laplock Technology, Chao Liu, said: “We are a young company that enjoys working with like-minded people. Apprentices tend to have lots of energy, be motivated and frequently come up with some great new ideas.
“The partnership with City College works well for us; we collaborate to make sure our apprentices get the skills and knowledge they need to excel.”
But would Hope recommend an apprenticeship to her peers? The answer is yes. “It’s a great opportunity to earn and learn,” she says. “And I would definitely say City College is the place to go. During both of my experiences at the college I’ve had the help and support I need to do well in my studies.”
Hope is planning to continue her studies and will progress to a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Business Administration on completion of her Level 2 studies.