100 Day Apprenticeship Challenge hits its target

‘Create one hundred new apprenticeships in one hundred days’ was the challenge put to Somerset businesses by the National Apprenticeship Service and a consortium of local training providers, including Bridgwater College, back in January this year.

100 Day Apprenticeship Challenge hits its target
The cake is cut by guests speakers Graham Knight, Lesley Watson and Jack Fleming.

Now the 100 days have passed and the final total of pledges was announced at a finale event last week – an incredible 515 Apprenticeship pledges have been made by businesses in Somerset – with over 100 of those through Bridgwater College!

100 Day Apprenticeship Challenge hits its target
Bridgwater guests include left to right (back row) Andy Berry, Paul Routley, Keith Butler (front row) Mike Morgan, Diane Mahoney and Graham Corner.

At the finale event, which was attended by a range of employers, stakeholders and training providers, a number of guests spoke about the positive effects of the campaign. Those who have decided to train their apprentices through Bridgwater College included:

Mike Morgan, from Mike Morgan Electrical Services, who has been employing apprentices for over 20 years and has pledged two apprenticeship places as a result of the campaign. He said,

“I find that apprenticeships fill a genuine skills gap. I have trained over 20 employees through the apprenticeship scheme, and am delighted to see so many of them progress and doing well in their current careers. This campaign has resulted in 60 applications for my two posts, which shows just how much it has served to raise the profile of this type of training.”

Diane Mahoney, from APS Pool Contracting, who also attended the event said,

“We have just recruited an apprentice plumber, and if it goes well, we might consider taking on an apprentice electrician. There are so many benefits of employing an apprentice and I think this form of learning is only going to become more popular as time goes on.”

Keith Butler from Avalon Plastics has only just submitted his pledge and said,

“We have just started the process of recruiting for our vacancy, and we are really excited by the prospect of training up a young person for our business. We are even considering creating a second vacancy if we find there are some good candidates out there.”

100 Day Apprenticeship Challenge hits its target
Luke Davies prepares the 100 cupcakes for the event.

One of the highlights at the finale event was the 100 cupcakes which were presented to each guest. They were created by Bridgwater College catering apprentice Luke Davies, aged 18 and from Bridgwater, who spent hours baking and decorating the cakes which were the centrepiece of the event and much appreciated by everyone!

The achievements of the campaign were summarised by Head of Employer Engagement at Bridgwater College, Andy Berry, who said,

“This project has been incredible for raising awareness of the value of apprenticeships, to employers, to young people and to the community. We have effectively created over 500 new jobs in Somerset, which is quite something – the real challenge for us now is to maintain that momentum, keep apprenticeships in the public eye and ensure that the benefits of this project are much longer lasting.”

100 Day Apprenticeship Challenge hits its target
Bridgwater College staff Hannah Ranby and Lisa Flahant receive certificates from the organisers for their work in promoting the project.

Although the campaign is now officially over, there is still the chance to find out more about employing an apprentice or applying for a position. Call us on 01278 655111 or see our Employers or Apprenticeship pages for more details.