How business can have exactly the workforce it needs

Tue 12 Mar 2013

Milton Keynes College Principal, Dr. Julie Mills, says business could have precisely the workforce it wants and needs if more employers take on apprentices.

Her comments come following a visit to the city by Prime Minister, David Cameron, where he called for Apprenticeships to become as “normal” a route into work as going to university.

Dr. Mills says, “With an apprenticeship scheme an employer can help to shape precisely what a particular student learns.  If the business needs particular skills they can be directly incorporated into the learning programme to guarantee the apprentices are of maximum value to it.  Unfortunately a lot of businesses have no experience of apprenticeships and they don’t realise what’s available to them so it is our job to make sure businesses understand how flexible the programme can be and how the College can work with them and then I know they would be beating a path to our door!”  

Companies which take on apprentices are eligible for significant cash grants and will also be able to make use of their apprentices in the workplace from day one.

Dr. Mills says, “The Prime Minister is absolutely right to highlight just how incredibly significant the modern apprenticeship programme could be for the economy in years to come.  The Centre for Economics and Business Research is predicting that apprenticeships years could contribute up to £3.4bn a year to the UK economy over the next 10 by improving Britain’s productivity. But we need employers to come to the party. Too few employers at the moment want to take on apprentices. That is why we are setting up an Apprenticeship Hub so that we can work more closely with as wide a range of employers as possible. Young people are voting with their feet. We have already recruited more apprentices this year than we expected to but we need and want to do more.”

Simran Dhesi is a first year apprentice at the College in Advanced Business Administration and says “I chose to do an apprenticeship with MK College rather than go to university as I am getting paid, trained and progressing in the field I desire with a strong organisation that is willing to provide learners with maximum knowledge and skills needed to strive and achieve in a work based environment.”

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