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Careers fair will focus on apprenticeships
10:00am Monday 11th March 2013 in News
A CAREERS fair will be held at the Brunel Centre on Thursday to encourage more young people to sign up for apprenticeships.
The National Apprentice -ship Service and Plan 500 have teamed up to talk to anyone interested in the apprenticeship programme between 10am and 4pm.
The free one-day event is being supported by a large number of businesses and organisations as part of National Apprenticeship Week, which runs from March 11 to 14, and several of the exhibitors will have information about apprenticeship opportunities.
Swindon’s Plan 500 is a ground-breaking initiative to bring Swindon’s companies and young people together to create job opportunities and work-related mentoring support .
The National Apprentice -ship Service works with employers to promote the apprenticeship route, and guide them through the process. Together they will be talking to employers and young people about creating apprenticeship opportunities and publicising current apprenticeship vacancies in and around Swindon.
Many businesses and support organisations have already signed up, including both Swindon colleges, several recruitment agencies and the Swindon Advertiser.
Bernard Ferris, of First Investments, the centre’s management company said: “We know that the employment situation in Swindon has been dealt several blows recently, so we wanted to show our support to the various agencies and organisations that are assisting those looking for work.
“We decided that by offering those connected with the employment industry our mall space, without charge, we could make it possible to hold a job fair. “We know this will, inevitably, help people in Swindon who are looking for work and training opportunities.”
Rebecca Harker, the franchise director of Select Appointments, said: “We are pleased to be a part of the job fair.
“We are looking forward to meeting people in the town, showing what we have to offer in the office and engineering sectors that we specialise in.”
Advice and information will be offered by Jobcentre Plus, which is also exhibiting. “We are wholly supportive of the national agenda on apprenticeships, which is why we want to be involved in this initiative,” said Jill Annal, the partnerships manager at the Job Centre.
“We have also recently launched the Wage Incentive. There is up to £2,275 available for employers who take unemployed 18-24 year olds into full-time jobs. Employers and young people can find out more by visiting our stand.”
The event is part of the sixth annual National Apprenticeship Week, which will see hundreds of events and activities taking place across England. The week, which is co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service, is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and their positive impact.
A better way to find work
BILAL Uddin, 19, progressed so well after he joined car dealership Pebley Beach at as a Hyundai mechanic apprentice that he was recently recognised as the manufacturer’s second year most improved apprentice.
Bilal, 19, of Broad Street, joined the Swindon team, based at Paddingdon Drive, after completing work experience there while completing a young apprenticeship course at Swindon College.
He said he did not want to go to university and believes an apprenticeship is a way to increase the chances of gaining permanent employment as trainees can better prove their worth to employers.
He said: “If you go to university, you come out with this certificate, you have graduated and you find it hard to get a job.
“And when you do an apprenticeship it’s a bit easier because you are already working there and they know how you are working and if you show them you are good you can get a permanent job.”
Bilal, who has five to six months left of his three-year apprenticeship, said he was not yet able to undertake MoTs but has been trained up by Hyundai to complete lots tasks, including routine maintenance.
He said: “In my first year and second year, I used to go every two months to High Wycombe to the Hyundai training centre. I would go for a week and stay there.
“They would teach me a certain part of the car and I would come back and learn it on customers’ cars here.”
It's a great way to gain experience
AMY Schvartz, 18, went into an apprenticeship as an office and accounts administrator at the Brunel Centre – and says it is a great way to gain professional experience in a work environment.
The Nine Elms resident, who hopes to become an accountant one day, finished her apprenticeship when she finished an NVQ Level 2 in customer service in April 2012, but she is now continuing her on-the-job training with an NVQ in business administration, due to end this month.
Amy was previously waitressing and studying towards A-levels and retaking GCSE maths at New College, but decided to make the move because she said she would rather be working full-time to make money than staying in formal education.
She said: “It’s so hard to get a job nowadays. Something came up and I just grabbed it. It’s an apprenticeship job I started on.
“I’m quite glad I did it like that because I learned a lot more than I would have.
“I was doing a customer service one so as well as the experience I would have got from doing the course, I learned things on the job. Definitely it’s a great way to get experience and if you are getting a qualification at the same time it’s a win-win.”
Amy’s role includes working on the reception, doing admin, selling car parking permits to staff at the centre, and collecting in data from different retailers.
Her training is funded by the Government and is delivered by Hit Training.
She said: “When I started my first course it was just a case of each month my assessor would come down and she would observe me and my workplace, or we would sit down and go through different things.”