September 30th, 2016

Taking steps now to give the future a chance

Updated: 12:20 pm, Mar 18, 2016

NATIONAL Apprenticeship Week came to an end on Friday (March 18) after five days of championing apprenticeships and the positive impact that they have on young people, businesses.

Observer editor Rob George discovered how one Broadway firm is putting its faith in apprentices as the future lifeblood of its company.

WITH the Government announcing recently its plans to create three million apprenticeship starts by 2020, Heming Group has already seen apprentices play an important role in the success of its Worcestershire business for nearly 50 years.

Heming Group, based in Willersey, near Broadway, has more than 40 employees, and comprises Heming Civil Engineering and Construction Contractors, Major Building Services, Ford Electrical and Heming Agricultural and Plant Engineers.

The company’s current intake of apprentices sees three youngsters learning the ropes at Ford Electrical, with the trio managed by 27-year-old Jack England, himself a former Heming Group apprentice.

Jack, Operations Director at Ford Electrical, and who served a four-year apprenticeship, said: “I would not want to belittle university educations, but the life experience I gained at an early age at Ford Electrical equipped me with the characteristics to progress in my career.”

The Ford Electrical apprentices are Tom Huxley, 21, and George Anderson, 18, both from Evesham, and Ellis Vaux, 18, from Birmingham.

They combine college studies with their roles at Ford Electrical, which for 25 years has been excelling in electrical project design, installation and maintenance in the West Midlands and South West.

Peter Heming, Managing Director of Heming Group, is a firm believer in the value of apprenticeships, and this is reflected in his keen involvement with Apprentices in Business (AiB), which is a Worcestershire networking group that holds bi-monthly meetings in Worcester.

Sponsors, which include Heming Group, are local businesses across many sectors that have recognised the advantages and benefits of taking on apprentices.

“I am a firm believer that you can nurture a willing spirit,” he said.

“You don’t have to go to university to get ahead in life and the success of our apprentices shows just what an important role they provide in the future of business.

“For those businesses that have never given serious thought to apprentices I recommend that they should.”

The Skills Funding Agency announced recently it was setting aside an extra £25 million for colleges and training organisations to provide apprenticeships for 16 to 18 year olds.

The funding will mean more young people will be able to access high-quality vocational education after they turn sixteen.

The Government has committed to post 16 training to the tune of £100 million in the 2015-16 funding year, while last December almost £68 million growth was awarded for apprenticeships for those aged 19 and over, as well as £11 million for other traineeships for over 19s.

Visit www.gov.uk and search for National Apprenticeship Week for more information

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