As National Apprenticeship Week approaches, one of the region’s foremost training providers is urging SCR businesses to keep a cool head over Brexit - and maintain their commitment to apprenticeships.
Tricia Smith, CEO of The Source Skills Academy at Meadowhall urged: “Brexit poses many uncertainties. If we leave the EU with a bad deal, many may think the answer is to shed jobs and freeze apprenticeship programmes.
“But in the medium to long term, this would create a huge skills gap. Far better to plan strategically by keeping up an influx of apprentices to train.”
She added: “Apprenticeships are essential for the development of the workforce in every industry. They give young people the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their career, and it builds confidence not just for them, but for the companies and sectors they work in.
“It’s paramount for businesses to utilise the funding available to them – either through their Apprenticeship Levy contributions or co-finance – so that more apprentices and industries can continue to develop the crucial skills they need.”
Her message will be delivered to SCR businesses at a major event being staged at The Source during National Apprenticeships Week (March 4-8).
It will be backed by Paul Johnson, senior economic policy manager at the SCR, who will be sharing Brexit advice for businesses at the March 6 Question Time Skills Event, which is being run in association with Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber.
Mr Johnson, who has worked in local government for 10 years, is the author of a report detailing the potential impact of Brexit on the region’s economy and listing mitigation measures for SCR businesses to explore.
The National Apprenticeships Week Question Time: Skills Event is free to attend and aims to equip businesses with clear information on all aspects of apprenticeship funding, recruitment and engagement, including tailored programmes and embedded workplace learning.
Attendees will also learn how local employers are making the most of apprenticeship funding and the impact on learners’ lives as former Sheffield Star journalist Jo Davison interviews bosses and apprentices from Stocksbridge-based environmental consultants Enzygo and Rotherham’s award-winning mechanical seals manufacturer AESSEAL.
Conor Moss, Sheffield Hallam University’s Director of Education and Employer Partnerships, will detail the positives apprenticeships have brought to SCR industry and economic growth. Andrew Denniff, Chief Executive of Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber, will also be a speaker.
Said Tricia Smith: “National Apprenticeship week is always a time to celebrate success and provide businesses with information about how to recruit and train. Our event will give real insight on how this region engages with apprenticeships and the value to gain from continuing to support them.”