Just 6% of workplaces in Berkshire host apprenticeships. Some of the brilliant businesses who are part of this 6% are sponsoring the Berkshire Apprenticeship Awards, taking place on the 22nd November 2018 at the Legoland Windsor Resort Hotel. Our sponsors are AWE, Arvato UK and Ireland, Engineering Construction Industry Training Board, and Honda Motor Europe; we caught up with them this week to find out why they are supporting the Berkshire Apprenticeship Awards and what the benefits of apprenticeships are for their business. 
Carl Rayner, Head of Talent Acquisition and Development, CRM Solutions, Arvato UK & Ireland, said: “Apprenticeships are one of the most important tools for tackling the skills gaps businesses face today, helping them boost productivity and innovation. Each year, our apprenticeship programme helps young people from across the region to develop the invaluable skills they need to start their careers. We take our responsibilities to the local communities we work in very seriously and supporting youth employment and training is key to this - that’s why we’re proud to be sponsoring these awards and recognising the talented young people and apprentice employers in Berkshire.” 
Apprenticeships offer people of all ages the opportunity to train for a career while in employment, enabling them to earn while they learn and for young people, in particular, provide a great alternative to incurring the level of debt now common amongst university students. While for a business, an apprenticeship is a productive and effective way to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce. This is something that our sponsors have experienced for themselves. 
Many large employers in Berkshire are now subject to what’s called the Apprenticeship Levy, where firms with a salary bill of more than £3million are paying into a fund that they can redeem funds back from to cover the training costs of hosting an apprentice. They are also able to transfer some funds to local smaller firms within their supply chain so that those businesses can take on more apprentices as well. If you’re a smaller firm you can also access funds direct from the Government to cover up to 100% of the training costs of an apprentice depending on the size of your business. 
Chris Claydon, Chief Executive of the ECTIB, said: “Apprenticeships are a fantastic route into engineering for young people and are increasingly valued by employers too. The ECITB works with engineering construction employers in Berkshire and across the UK who are looking to take on apprentices. We’re pleased to be sponsoring these awards, which will help to showcase the many benefits of apprenticeships to young people, their parents and employers.” 
At the Berkshire Apprenticeship Service, we help businesses set up new apprenticeship opportunities, assist them in finding the best local training provider and advise on changes to the apprenticeship system. The Berkshire Apprenticeship Awards 2018 are the first dedicated Apprenticeship Awards for all industry sectors and size of firm, with opportunities for apprentices, business, training providers and schools to win an award celebrating the contribution they are making to apprenticeships and being part of the message that 6% is not enough. 
To find out more about the Berkshire Apprenticeship Awards and to discuss opportunities for sponsorship of the awards please contact Fiona Jones, Chief Executive of Slough Aspire, via manager@sloughaspire.com or 01753 530146. 
For more details on the Berkshire Apprenticeship Awards, please visit www.berkshire-apprenticeships.co.uk/apprenticeship-awards, call 01753 793370 or email info@berkshire-apprenticeships.co.uk 
Tagged as: Apprenticeships
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