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Local businesses of all sizes are realising the benefits of apprenticeships thanks to the work of East Berkshire College. 

Among those companies to develop an apprenticeship scheme is Babcock International, who recently reached the London final of the National Apprenticeship Awards 2011. The company currently has 14 apprentices (aged 20-50) within its airports business, who are training at the College.

babcock alan cutler web 710px

The UK's leading engineering support services company approached the College five years ago to develop its staff and address a skills shortage created by retirements.

Alan Cutler, Babcock's Training Manager within the airports business, explains: "Apprenticeships have certainly been a factor in retaining and growing our business. Although we do hire new apprentices, we predominately recruit internally. This has resulted in a reduction in recruitment costs and an increased retention rate. Retaining the knowledge and experience of these individuals ensures continuity, while enabling us to meet future skills gaps.

"We are proud of our apprenticeship programme. The College provides regular feedback on our apprentices and tailors the training to our needs, as well as those of the individual."

The College trains hundreds of apprentices every year, in subjects from engineering to hairdressing, and helps businesses recruit apprentices.

As well as the more traditional trade-based apprenticeships, the College offers new apprenticeships in areas such as IT, Business Administration, Accounting and Customer Service. A range of new higher apprenticeships (Level 4) are also now available.

For more information on apprenticeships, contact East Berkshire College on 01753 443855.

Alan at_Apprenticeship_Awardsweb

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