WOKING MP Jonathan Lord and Mel Stride, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, visited Invotra last week at its Dukes Court headquarters.

Invotra, a leading intranet company, has a hugely successful apprenticeship programme and is a UK Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer.

Mr Lord said: “Invotra’s apprenticeship programme, which has seen apprentices who joined 10 years ago rise to the top of senior management, is a fantastic example of the important and significant role that apprenticeships can have both for employees as well as employers.”  

Mr Stride added: “I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. Work-based training is a great option for people entering a new career, or considering a possible career change, and I would encourage those interested to look at the training programmes on www.gov.uk to learn about the exciting opportunities open to them.”

During the visit, Invotra shared the success stories of its many apprentices and apprentice graduates, including Billy Clackers, managing director of Invotra, and Nqobile Dube, the company’s technical director, who were the first apprentices hired within the group.

Invotra is recognised for its excellent record in developing apprentices. Since employing its first apprentices in 2011, it has overcome nationwide skills shortages, and its apprenticeship programme has enjoyed great success. Today, 40% of Invotra’s board members are qualified apprentices. 

"We were delighted to welcome Mr Stride and Jonathan Lord to Invotra,” said Mr Clackers. "We provide our apprentices with the skills and experience they need to build successful careers and contribute to our company's growth and success."

Mr Dube added: "As former apprentices ourselves, we understand the value of apprenticeships and how they can enable individuals to progress to senior positions within a company. We are committed to continuing to develop apprentices and providing them with opportunities to learn and grow."

Mr Lord and Mr Stride also visited Citizens’ Advice Woking, one of the largest in the country. It sees between 4,000 and 5,000 people every year and arranges as many as 20,000 meetings, providing crucial advice and support to those in need.

“I have worked closely with Citizens Advice Woking throughout my time as a Member of Parliament, and I have seen at first hand the incredible work that they do to support local residents,” Mr Lord said.

“I am pleased to have been able to introduce Charles Croker [the chairman of CAW] and the CAW team to the Secretary of State.

“There were some productive conversations about what the Government is doing to support people during these difficult economic times, and how Citizens Advice Woking and similar organisations are supporting people not only in Woking, but across the country.”

Mr Stride added:  “It’s been a privilege to see how staff and volunteers at Citizens' Advice Woking are assisting people in need, and I want to thank them for all their hard work during these challenging times.”

For more pictures of the visit, see the 23 March edition of the News & Mail – in shops from Thursday.