Minister highlights importance of apprenticeships

Posted on 8 Jul 2011 by The Manufacturer

John Hayes MP yesterday argued that apprenticeships were the ‘cornerstone of the government’s approach to skills’, and urged manufacturers to increase the number on offer.

At an event held by EEF and the Apprentice Ambassadors Network (AAN) yesterday (July 7) hosted by AAN chairman, Sir Roy Gardiner, companies that do not already have apprenticeship programmes were urged by the government and figures inside the EEF to look into the benefits of having such programmes.

The event was also designed to give companies of all sizes a chance to discuss challenges they were facing, solutions they had created and above all to network.

Guests heard a keynote address from John Hayes MP, the Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, who said that apprenticeships were ‘pivotal to transforming opportunities across the economy and communities’.

Delegates also heard about the practicalities of running a successful programme from Christine Gaskell, member of the Board for Personnel at Bentley Motors. Louis Warburton, one of the apprentices at Bentley Motors gave his view on the subject from what is arguably the most relevant perspective.

EEF chief executive Terry Scuoler commented: “Investing in people is as important as any other business investment. In these challenging times when it is so important to grow our manufacturing base and rebalance our economy, it is vital that companies invest in the benefits that apprentices can bring to their business.”

He added that “by doing so, not only will individual companies see their performance improve [but] then, as a nation; we will enhance our competitiveness and help deliver sustainable growth.”

George Archer