Apprenticeship event puts businesses back in the driving seat

Businesses across the district will have more control over apprenticeships in future as part of government reforms.

Companies in Malvern recently gathered at Morgan Motor Company for the annual business briefing event held by Worcestershire Apprenticeships where the changes were top of the agenda.

Kim Cook, Managing Director of Worcestershire Apprenticeships, outlined the reforms which include new standards to drive up quality, a new funding model, the Apprenticeship Levy and the introduction of digital accounts which will give employers the freedom to buy in the apprenticeship training they need to suit their business needs.

Steve Morris, Managing Director of Morgan Motor Company who himself started as an apprentice with the company, detailed the company’s approach to training to ensure all apprentices gain commercial and business acumen, as well as core technical skills.

Phil Merrick, Head of Economy for Malvern Hills District Council encouraged businesses to look into available funding to help with apprenticeship costs, including the council’s own Malvern Hills Apprenticeship grant which offers 1,000 to first time recruiters. Together with money from the Government, it means small businesses employing fewer than 50 people, could claim up to £2,500 to recruit a young apprentice.

Phil Grove, Leader of Malvern Hills District Council, said: “Our new five year plan commits us to supporting local businesses by creating 50 new apprenticeship opportunities per year over the next five years, with a focus on our growth sectors. Malvern businesses increasingly understand the value of apprenticeships to their future workforce. Recent figures show a 21 per cent annual growth in apprenticeship recruitment in the district, and the Malvern Hills Apprenticeship grant is supporting that growth.”