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With the help of East Berkshire College, Complete Care in Windsor has introduced its first apprenticeship scheme to offer its staff the chance to develop their skills and gain a nationally recognised qualification.

As part of its commitment to supporting staff development and further promoting good working practice, the professional home care company has six apprentices undertaking a level three qualification in Health & Social Care.

Though traditionally the caring industry is not a sector automatically associated with apprenticeships, more and more businesses like Complete Care are recognising the initiative as a cost-effective way to develop their workforce and recruit fresh new talent.

Beverley Buckner, Managing Director of Complete Care, explains: "It is important to have qualified staff to deliver the highest level of care to our service users. Apprenticeships are good for the individual, our business and the industry as a whole, as they help to raise standards and provide clients with added reassurance. This kind of training not only motivates the apprentice, but also inspires other members of the team."

"East Berkshire College made the process of setting up an apprenticeship scheme very straight forward, helping us with all the paperwork and accessing relevant funding. I have been very impressed with the College's flexible approach to our business. For example, they work around our shift patterns to deliver training at our offices rather than at the College, which is a real benefit for us and more convenient for our apprentices."

Established since 2002, Complete Care provides a full range of professional home care services to service users across Windsor, Maidenhead and the surrounding areas.

Amy Morrison, a homecare assistant, is one of the individuals studying for the Advanced Apprenticeship in Health & Social Care (NVQ Level 3).

"I always thought apprenticeships were for 16 year olds and I didn't realise they were available for the caring industry. Being an apprentice is great because you can learn while you earn. All the units of the course are relevant to my job and I am learning so much about industry regulations and legislation. Completing my level three qualification will give me more opportunities and enable me to work towards a possible promotion."

East Berkshire 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 now offers a range of new apprenticeships in areas such as Business Administration, Accounting, Customer Service, Science, IT and Hospitality & Catering. An increasing range of new higher apprenticeships (Level 4) are also available.

Local businesses interested in taking on an apprentice, can contact East Berkshire College's Business Services team on 01753 443855.

For further information on East Berkshire College and its extensive range of over 800 courses including apprenticeships, click here or call 0845 373 2500.

Published in Business Services

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Small and medium sized businesses looking to take on a young apprentice have been given a boost as the National Apprenticeship Service has announced moves to help even more employers recruit an apprentice and increase opportunities for young people.

The government has confirmed an extension of the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers of 16-24 year olds (AGE 16-24) until March 2014. The £1,500 grant is available to help eligible businesses with less than 1,000 employees take on between one and ten apprentices aged 16-24.

Neil Peters, Commercial Director at East Berkshire College, welcomes the news: "With a growing range of apprenticeship courses and funding available, there's never been a better time for businesses to take on an apprentice. Many employers are finding apprenticeships are a great cost-effective way to recruit fresh talent, address future skills gaps, increase staff retention and improve bottom line.

"At East Berkshire College, we support the employer and the apprentice. We have more than 35 years of experience in delivering high quality training and our free apprentice matching service ensures businesses find the right individual and vice versa."

Marketing solutions company, Surefoot Communications in Burnham is one of a number of local businesses to employ their first apprentice and take advantage of the government grant.

Karl Austen, Director of Surefoot Communications, explains: "We recruited our first apprentice six months ago as we wanted someone who could grow with the company. I had heard a lot about apprenticeships in the news, but East Berkshire College was able to explain the process and the funding available to us. Being able to access this additional grant made our decision to hire an apprentice much easier and we are pleased we did. As an employer, we have found an apprentice offers us greater flexibility and their energy combined with their willingness to learn is a definite benefit."

Apprenticeships are also providing young people with a great opportunity to kick-start their careers. Catriona McGill is one of four individuals benefiting from a two-year higher apprenticeship scheme at Oracle Corporation in Reading:

"I'm so pleased I applied for the apprenticeship as it really is the best of both worlds. Oracle and the College work together to ensure what I am learning is relevant to what I am doing at work. This means when I complete my apprenticeship, I'll not only have gained an HND qualification, but I'll also have the experience to go with it."

East Berkshire College trains hundreds of apprentices every year, in subjects from engineering to catering, and helps businesses recruit apprentices.

As well as the more traditional trade-based apprenticeships, the College now offers a range of new apprenticeships in areas such as Business Administration, Accounting, Customer Service, IT, Health & Social Care and Hospitality & Catering. An increasing range of new higher apprenticeships (Level 4) are also available.

Local businesses interested in taking on an apprentice, can contact East Berkshire College's Business Services team on 01753 443855.

For individuals interested in an apprenticeship call 0845 373 2500 or click here.

 

Published in Business Services
Monday, 19 March 2012 12:16

First apprentices for Oracle

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Oracle Corporation in Reading is giving young people a chance to kick start their careers in IT with its first apprenticeship scheme in partnership with East Berkshire College.

A global supplier of complete, open and integrated software and hardware systems, Oracle has recently recruited four apprentices for its System Support team at its Reading office through the College.

The quartet spends two days a week at the College’s Langley Campus and the rest on-the-job training on Oracle’s products and services. In the workplace, they are undertaking a series of three-month rotations, which includes working in the lab and out in the field providing technical support to customers.     

As a world-leading business systems company, with more than 380,000 customers –including 100 of the Fortune Global 100 – Oracle recognises the importance of investing in recruiting and developing new talent.

Stephen Lewis, Business Operations Manager (UK/Ireland) at Oracle, explains: “Training is paramount in order to obtain the calibre of people we need. As a company, we need to ensure we have a flow of talented service engineers, and the higher apprenticeship scheme teaches the high level of knowledge and practical skills we require.  

“We were quite specific on what we needed the course to cover and the level of qualification in order to attract good quality candidates. It has been a real pleasure working with the College; they have been very responsive and understanding of our needs. They were extremely flexible about start dates and worked closely with our HR department to help us access funding and recruit the right apprentices.”

Catriona McGill (18, from Farnborough) is one of the four individuals benefiting from the two-year apprenticeship scheme at Oracle:

“I started a Business Management course at university in September, but left after a few months because I wasn’t enjoying the course. I’m so pleased I applied for the apprenticeship as it really is the best of both worlds. Oracle and the College work together to ensure what I am learning is relevant to what I am doing at work. This means when I complete my apprenticeship, I’ll not only have gained an HND qualification, but I’ll also have the experience to go with it.”

Fellow apprentice Adam Griffiths (19, from Oxford) agrees: “Higher apprenticeships are a great alternative to university. I had offers to study computer science at university, but I saw the role at Oracle advertised and decided the best way to get into IT was via an apprenticeship. With an apprenticeship you gain a more specialist qualification and skills, work experience, no debts and a real career path.

“Working for Oracle is my dream job. I’m enjoying it so much that at the end of the day, they have to remind me it’s time to go home.”

East Berkshire 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 now offers a range of new apprenticeships in areas such as Business Administration, Accounting, Customer Service and Hospitality & Catering. An increasing range of new higher apprenticeships (Level 4) are also available. 

Local businesses interested in taking on an apprentice, can contact East Berkshire College’s Business Services team on 01753 443855 or by clicking here.

Published in Business Services
Monday, 22 August 2011 00:00

Students build a career at LEGOLAND

lego news_01_300pxBeing an apprentice at one of the UK's leading theme parks has to be the ultimate job for thrill-seekers, so when East Berkshire College students Nickie Bancroft and Callum Hodge-Fleming were hired by LEGOLAND Windsor they couldn't believe their luck.

Callum (20, from Slough) and Nickie (from Bracknell), who have just completed the first year of an electrical apprenticeship at the theme park, have found combining studying at college with full-time work the perfect way to build their careers.

The duo spend one day a week at the College's Langley Campus and the rest on the job learning everything from how the rides work to keeping the offices in good electrical working order.

"Since I was young, I've always wanted to work in a theme park. I stayed on at school to do my A Levels but I knew university wasn't for me," says Callum. "I decided to do an apprenticeship, so that I could learn a trade and get paid. It really helps to put what you learn in the classroom into practice at work. It inspires you to work harder at College because you realise the importance of what you are being taught."

"My apprenticeship has given me an excellent start. I love working at the park and when I finish the course, I will not only be qualified but I will also have four years of experience."

Nickie agrees: "Being able to earn money to support myself and get qualified is great. The College helped me find and apply for my apprenticeship. I feel very lucky to be working in a theme park. It's not like any other job. No two days are ever the same!"

Apprenticeships are also a valuable way for employers to develop their workforce according to Kieran Maher, Maintenance Director at LEGOLAND Windsor. "LEGOLAND is constantly growing, so training is paramount to obtain the calibre of engineers we need. It can be a challenge to recruit the right people because the park is a unique working environment. Apprenticeships allow us to produce home-grown talent, who really understand the systems and culture of the park."

"When we approached the College about an apprenticeship scheme, we were extremely impressed with their facilities and service. They certainly helped us find the right apprentices in Nickie and Callum. We have been delighted with their progress, and they have become a valuable addition to our team here."

East Berkshire 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 now offers a range of new apprenticeships in areas such as IT, Business Administration, Accounting and Customer Service. A range of new higher apprenticeships (Level 4) are also available.

For further information on East Berkshire College and its extensive range of over 600 courses including apprenticeships call 0845 373 2500.

Local businesses interested in taking on an apprentice, please contact East Berkshire College on 01753 443855.

Published in Business Services

bentalls news_350pxWith the help of East Berkshire College, Bentalls department store in Bracknell – part of the Fenwick Group – has introduced an apprenticeship scheme to offer its staff the chance to develop their skills and gain a nationally recognised qualification.

As part of its commitment to staff development and delivering the highest standards of customer service, the well-known retailer is working in partnership with the College to train 16 apprentices (aged 18-50+) at its Bracknell store. And the individuals, the business and its customers are already seeing the benefits.

Store Director, Craig Strugnell, said: "As a company, we pride ourselves on investing in people. The apprenticeship scheme is beneficial for everyone. Developing and supporting our employees in this way, gives them the chance to improve their skills and recognise the importance of their role in the business. It also means our customers can be assured of receiving a first class service."

Bentalls, which employs over 200 employees at its Bracknell store, is a premium department store offering an extensive range of brands across womenswear, menswear, childrenswear, cosmetics and home.

Though traditionally the retail industry is not a sector automatically associated with apprenticeships, more and more retailers are recognising the initiative as a cost-effective way to develop their workforce and recruit fresh new talent.

Jacqui Cumbers, HR Manager at Bentalls in Bracknell, explains: "We offered apprenticeships to employees of all ages, from new recruits to long serving members of staff, and received an extremely positive response. Since introducing the scheme in March, the employees have grown in confidence, expanded their knowledge and developed a real sense of pride in their work. Ultimately, this has led to improved team morale and a higher quality of service for our customers.

"The College's flexible approach has made the whole process of setting up the programme very easy for us. As well as helping us access funding, they are able to schedule training around our busy trading periods to minimise disruption and tailor the course to our specific needs. In fact, the scheme has been so successful we are looking to run it again next year."

Fiona Allen, Assistant Sales Manager for Cookware, is one of the employees studying for the intermediate apprenticeship in Customer Service (NVQ Level 2). Having worked for the company for 13 years, Fiona was keen to improve her skills and gain a qualification.

"As it had been about 30 years since I last took any formal qualifications, I wasn't sure what to expect. However, the workload is manageable and everything I'm learning is relevant to my role.

"The course has given me a greater understanding of the entire business and made me look at things in a different way. I've particularly enjoyed learning more about retail law. Legislation is constantly changing, so it is important to know the latest information. Especially as I am often the first person a customer meets when they enter the store."

East Berkshire College trains hundreds of apprentices every year, in subjects from engineering to hairdressing, and even 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 East Berkshire College and its extensive range of apprenticeships call 01753 443855.

Published in Apprenticeships
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