Business Secretary Vince Cable visited Solihull College and met trainees and apprentices there as the College gears up to train more apprentices than ever before.
Solihull College has more than doubled the number of apprentices it trains since 2010. In the 2009-10 academic year it provided bespoke training courses to 550 apprentices. It aims to train 1,500 this year – a record for the College.
Business Secretary Dr Cable has introduced measures to support apprenticeships, including £1,500 grants and covering up to 100% of training costs. This has seen 7,000 people take on apprenticeships across Solihull since the coalition came into government.
The College also used Dr Cable’s visit to showcase traineeships, and Dr Cable met trainees, apprentices and their employers at the event.
Dr Cable said that the government had “breathed life back into vocational education” and said apprenticeships were a “great success story”.
“A lot of young people aren’t ready for an apprenticeship, which involve a job, having some basic work experience and some English and maths. Sometimes young people need an entry route and traineeships provide that.”
John Callaghan, Solihull College Principal and Chief Executive said
“We are really pleased with the success of apprenticeships and now we need to embrace traineeships.
“They provide a helpful and well-rounded experience for a school leaver on the personal and professional attributes people need to succeed in adult life. They are shorter in length than an apprenticeship and on successful completion young people should have the correct skills to progress an apprenticeship.”
Local MP Lorely Burt said
“Solihull College have an exceptional record, expanding and creating opportunities for more young people year on year. They did an excellent job supporting my campaign to encourage local businesses to take on apprentices nearly two years ago and since then they have continued to train more and more.
“The College also offers traineeships which the government is helping young people to access. I would encourage young people around Solihull to consider traineeships as an option if they don’t feel ready for an apprenticeship.”
Photograph shows Lorely Burt and Vince Cable meeting apprentices at Solihull College