Two major business organisations have lent their support to a major event celebrating the very best apprentices across South East Wales.
The Confederation of British Industry and the Institute for the Motor Industry are both sponsoring the Quality Skills Alliance (QSA) Apprenticeship Awards, which will be held in the Wales Millennium Centre on Wednesday, February 12 from 6pm.
The QSA is a group of work-based learning providers, including colleges and private training providers across South East Wales. The consortium delivers around £5m worth of quality training throughout the region.
The event is the QSA’s inaugural annual awards ceremony. Some 250 guests including apprentice learners, employers and partners and representatives from across government, education and the business community will attend the awards.
CBI Regional Manager for Wales and the South West Ian Price stressed the importance of apprenticeships.
“Apprentices are also a really important for the economy. More emphasis should be placed on vocational qualifications. We get feedback from our members pointing out their value to their business.“The CBI takes a huge interest in the skills agenda and apprentices in particular,” Ian explained. “We are regularly being told by more and more businesses that apprentices are an important solution to their skills problems.
“It is essential that we recognise the importance of apprenticeships and the part that everybody plays in them.”
Colin Williams, IMI National Manager for Wales, agreed. He said: “Apprenticeships are a vital component of the automotive industry with more than 10,000 automotive apprenticeships undertaken each year. For that reason alone the IMI is heavily involved in promoting and developing them wherever we can.
“The timing of this event is perfect, as we have just released the results of a two-year study which found that automotive businesses can expect a 150% - 300% return from employing an apprentice. So sponsoring an event celebrating the best apprentices in South Wales is a great opportunity for us to create awareness.”
Colin also emphasised the importance of work-based learning to the economy. “The automotive industry contributes £25bn Gross Value Added to UK GDP,” he said. “It stands to reason that automotive apprenticeships have a significant impact on the wider economy. We should also bear in mind that it’s the automotive industry that keeps the nations’ goods moving; get commuters to work and emergency vehicles ready to respond, so I’m convinced that our apprentices have a huge impact on the wider economy.
“As you will probably have heard, record new vehicle registrations figures have been released recently, and it’s the current intake of apprentices who will be trained in the latest diagnostic and service technology for those vehicles. They’ll take that knowledge back to their employers, which will improve the businesses’ performance and profitability.
“The automotive sector is heavily skills based and on the job training is really important to ensure new people coming into the sector are competent and ready to face the challenges of rapidly advancing technology.”
Colin added that the Awards were a great way of raising the profile of work based learning. “Apprenticeships are still an underrepresented and highly under rated career path for young people,” he explained. “Apprentices who reach outstanding levels of achievement serve as role models for young people and will hopefully encourage more to grasp the fantastic opportunities offered by a quality apprenticeship.”
Notes to editors
- Photo shows Colin Williams (left) and Ian Price
- Why not follow the latest updates from QSA on Facebook or Twitter @The_QSA?
For more information contact:
Cardiff and Vale College
Tel: 01446 725015. Email: email@example.com