Solihull College & University Centre recently ran its first apprenticeship levy breakfast meeting for local employers.
The meeting, aimed at the construction industry, was held at the College’s Woodlands Campus in Smith’s Wood which is home to impressive facilities for the area of construction and engineering.
With the introduction of the apprenticeship levy this year it is extremely important that all businesses have a full understanding about how the levy could affect them and are aware of the potential apprenticeship opportunities within their local area. As a training provider for apprenticeships, Solihull College & University Centre was able to direct those present on the steps they need to take to ensure they make the most of the levy.
Representatives from the College including Principal and Chief Executive, John Callaghan and Senior Director of Skills and Employment, Shaun Hindle were present at the event to speak about how the College can help local businesses.
John Callaghan spoke of the opportunities that are becoming available throughout the region, particularly in the construction industry, including the development of HS2. Mr Callaghan followed this by saying the College is looking to be an incubator for businesses. The College has recently invested in a number of different resources such as a Virtual Reality suite and looks forward to the future of involving such technology within the construction industry.
The businesses present also heard from CEO of Building Alliance, Mike Leonard who spoke of the need to ensure that the ladder within industry is clear and progression can be made by young people. He stated that currently many people are qualified but underemployed and are not fulfilling their potential. Apprenticeships would be able to fill the productivity gap that this causes as young people are able to learn the necessary industry skills as well as gain a qualification.
Mr Leonard went on to say that there will shortly be nearly 1 million job opportunities within the UK as 700,000 people working in the construction industry will be set to retire. With new projects on the horizon in the UK there will be a need for a further 240,000 trained individuals, meaning there is a huge opportunity for young people and their job prospects.
The group heard from 2 young apprentices who described how they had benefitted from their apprenticeship programmes and how they will be looking to secure a job at their companies once their programme is complete. Faith Walker, FLR Group, also spoke of her experience taking on apprentices. Ms Walker explained that apprentices can make your business. She described how her business has a number of apprentices who have since secured full-time roles, one of which is now a director of the company.
The morning was a great success for all involved with many local businesses going away thinking about taking on apprentices themselves in the future.
The College will be holding another event for businesses next month, where apprenticeship experts will be able to give businesses advice and help them plan ahead of the introduction of the apprenticeship levy.
For more information on the chance to offer apprenticeships with your business visit our apprenticeship website or call 0121 678 7000.
Find out more about Solihull College & University Centre’s Construction courses.