LOCAL companies are being called on to tap into new young talent this week and pledge a commitment for the National Apprenticeship Service.
Woking MP Jonathan Lord said: “If they don’t have one already, every business in Woking should consider employing an apprentice.
“By giving young people a chance, they will also be boosting their bottom line. The benefit of £1.5 million has made a real difference to the local economy, and that’s just from apprentices who began last year.
“Numbers have now doubled, with the Government making it a priority. It’s great news for the apprentice, great for our businesses and great for growth.”
This is the seventh National Apprenticeship Week (March 3 to 7). Every time a company hires an apprentice, their bottom line gets an average boost of £2,162. This is immediate, while the apprentice is being trained.
Last year, 690 were taken on in Woking, which means new apprentices alone provided a local boost of around £1,492,000.
Setting a shining example, Capgemini are building on a motivated, enthusiastic and innovative workforce through technology apprenticeships.
They employ more than 250 nationally, and offer Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships in Software Development.
Head of Talent at the Woking HQ, Anouska Ramsay, said: “When considering Higher Apprenticeships, the NAS helped define what we needed, and their advice has been fantastic.”
They also advertise all Capgemini’s apprenticeships online.
Recruits have increased and their calibre has been consistently high, leading to many business benefits.
“Not only are apprentices a cost-effective resource; they bring innovation, inspiration, ideas and energy into everything they do,” explained Anouska.
“They demonstrate an ability to be out with clients, are always enthusiastic, and their different take on things brings new life to projects. They’re the cornerstone of talent for the organisation.”
Capgemini’s Jack Eker, who won the South Central National Higher Apprenticeship Award 2013, said: “I am intensely passionate about my work and I relish the opportunity to further my education and experience.
“I have the opportunity to gain a BSc Hons degree while working for the company, delivering bespoke software solutions.
“Based on my rapid development, I have been trusted with a software engineer position on a project at the forefront of the Government’s ICT strategy.
“I felt that an apprenticeship, where I could gain real experience while undertaking a degree, would prove more beneficial, with the bonus of not leaving me in huge university debt. Winning the South Central Higher Apprentice of the year award was fantastic. I hope to take what I have achieved and use it to encourage young people to take the Apprenticeship route.”
After completing an apprenticeship at Capgemini, they embark on progression within the company. Anouska added: “We have a clear, detailed career path laid out for them, which is why more than 90 per cent of them stay.
“This is the first year we have recruited equal numbers of apprentices and graduates, and this will probably continue.”
Small businesses are missing out because they don’t know enough how apprenticeships work, but there has been a huge expansion in the range and types of apprenticeships available.
Chief Executive of the Association Of Accounting Technicians, Jane Scott Paul, said: “I am delighted Jonathan Lord MP is encouraging more apprenticeships. Far from being a cost, they bring immediate benefits.
“It’s important employers know there are apprenticeships for all shapes and sizes.”
To find out more contact the NAS on 08000 150600 or at www.apprenticeships.org.uk.