Small and medium-sized businesses will learn how apprentices can benefit their companies at a special business breakfast this week.
The Swindon Employment and Apprenticeship Group is hosting the event at Arclite House, headquarters of Positive Media Group and Excalibur Communications Ltd on Friday 9 September between 7.30am and 9.30am.
Firms will have the opportunity to learn how to strengthen and diversify their workforce by using apprentices to provide a pipeline of future talent specifically tailored to the needs of their business.
The breakfast session will include practical guidance on how to recruit apprentices and how to access grants and funding. The apprenticeship levy will be explained, there will be a panel discussion to answer any questions about apprentices, while attendees will also be shown how apprentices have made a real difference to local firms.
Swindon firm KAM Systems, based at Glenmore Business Park, Westmead, is one local firm that has embraced the apprenticeship system.
Specialising in care, communication and security solutions for clients including residential care homes, hospitals, hotels and universities, KAM Systems employs five people – three of whom are apprentices.
“We have two engineers who have started as apprentices and the third apprentice is in charge of the admin side of the business,” explained KAM system’s Harpal Momi.
“We see apprentices as a good investment. Young people bring something extra. They are enthusiastic and they want to learn. Sometimes it is better to have somebody that you can train from scratch to do the job how you want it to be done. They then learn your systems, how you do business and what the ethos of the business is.
“We see real value in apprentices. The apprentices get time off to do their studies and we are fairly flexible about that because that is part of the investment in them as employees. We don’t pay them the minimum apprentice rate because we value them and we want them to stay with us; we invest in them which in the long run benefits the business.
“We also find that we learn from them because they understand the value of social media and the connected world. Technology doesn’t faze them and as a company using technology in providing solutions for the care industry, they can bring fresh ideas and approach to solve a problem.”
Apprenticeships are available in 1,500 occupations across 170 industries and can be employed by businesses of all sizes. They can last between 12 months and five years.
Cllr Garry Perkins, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for the Economy, Regeneration and Skills, said: “The business breakfast is the perfect opportunity for local firms to find out at first hand how apprentices can benefit their business.
“It has never been easier to employ an apprentice and the Council can provide plenty of guidance and advice to help businesses tap into the wide pool of talent that is out there.”
For more information about the business breakfast or to book a place email Maria Holohan at: firstname.lastname@example.org