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Swindon firm backs apprentice move
WITH skills training and apprenticeships one of the government’s key priorities, a Swindon company is getting behind a scheme to give young people a chance to get on to the employment ladder.
The Research Council UK Shared Services Centre Ltd has already witnessed major business benefits from employing apprentices and chief executive Jonathan Preece believes the time is right to tap into a wealth of talent which could bring similar benefits to those employers willing to give apprentices a chance.
Through the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers, businesses who choose to grow their business through apprenticeships can access funding of £1,500 for 16- to 24-year-olds.
The Shared Services Centre began its own apprenticeships scheme in the summer of 2011. Eight apprentices were appointed to positions across the board at the company’s headquarters in Swindon. Since then, a further eight apprentices have been appointed to similar roles in Swindon, with plans to expand this to operations in Newport and Billingham in the autumn.
Henry Cook is one of the newest apprentices at RCUK Shared Services Centre, having started three weeks ago. Henry, who is working with the Corporate HR team, said: “This is what I want to do for a job and the training is proving to be exactly what I need to get my career going.”
Martin Donnelly, Permanent Secretary, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, said: “Apprenticeships are real jobs that help people of all ages to gain the skills they need to succeed and progress in their careers.
“They also help employers to build a workforce with the motivation and expertise they need, so I’m pleased that RCUK SSC are seizing the opportunity to be part of this new scheme.” CEO Mr Preece said: “The apprentices have shown enthusiasm to learn, shown ambition and have been a real pleasure and asset for our organisation.
“We do everything possible to encourage and support them to develop their talent and skills and give them the opportunity to thrive and develop either a genuine career opportunity or to gain real benefits as part of their work experience qualifications.”