Training boss calls on Government to address long term decline in apprenticeship numbers

One of the West Midlands’ leading training companies is warning that the Government needs to tackle the long term decline in apprenticeship numbers and address the sustained decline if the UK economy is to stand any real chance of returning to growth

That’s the verdict of Chris Luty, managing director of Black Country-based BCTG, speaking after Rishi Sunak delivered his Spending Review 2020.

He said: “While we welcome the fact the Chancellor has extended employer incentives to recruit Apprentices until 31 March 2021, with up to £3000 available, we believe the real challenge is how we invest long term in the skills our economy needs.

“It’s not simply about ‘levelling up’, it’s about making sure we have the skilled labour to rebuild and actually benefit from major infrastructure projects.

He pointed out that apprenticeship numbers had fallen, not just during the Covid crisis, but every year since 2017.

“The answer is more than just short-term incentives. We need to relook at the reasons for this sustained decline. We know that rules around ‘off the job training’ are major factor that puts employers off, especially SMEs.

They need more flexibility, so this is a real opportunity for the Government to act now to address this.”

He said the new £375 million Lifetime Skills Guarantee, previously announced by the Prime Minister, is a step in the right direction but needs to be broader than paying for traditional college-based courses.

“We need to be sure that we have the flexibility regionally to deliver the training companies need to both rebuild the West Midlands economy, and to deal with impact of Brexit.

“Every day, Independent Training Providers like BCTG work hand in glove with employers to create tailored courses. It is this custom approach that brings results, not just opting for a basic off-the-shelf answer.”

The BCTG group offers apprenticeships, training and help into long term employment through PTP (Performance Through People), The Apprenticeship Works, Kickstart Plus, Further Training and The Work Shop.

“We want employers, particularly SMEs, to talk to us about their plans for growth and how we can integrate training into those plans to help them deliver,” he said.

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For further information, please contact:

Chris Luty, Chief Executive Officer,

BCTG Group, European Business Park, Taylors Lane, Oldbury, B69 2BN. Tel: 0121 544 6455

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner at ASAP PR – 07990 978257

Note to editors:

BCTG Group is a West Midlands-based training organisation which supports almost 10,000 young people and adults each year.

The group has ten sites in Birmingham, the Black Country, Staffordshire and Newcastle-under-Lyme, and also includes The Apprenticeship Works, BCTG Ltd, Eurosource Solutions and Further Training.

Overall, the group offers 166 different types of apprenticeship, 84 different adult upskilling and reskilling courses and 27 pre-apprenticeship programmes for 16 to 18-year-olds. These include everything from healthcare and early years care to construction, engineering, manufacturing and logistics, through to business skills in IT, management and team leading.

Sue’s stand-out success puts her in line for award after PTP Training apprenticeship

When Sue Cruxton decided to take on an apprenticeship to further her career with leading funerals business Dignity, she admits to having been a little apprehensive – instead of being in her teens or 20s like most apprentices, she was approaching her 60th birthday.

But Midlands training organisation PTP, part of the BCTG Group,  was so impressed with her performance that she is now among the finalists at this year’s Birmingham Apprenticeship Awards.

Sue had been working with Dignity since 2011, starting in the Client Services Centre (CSC) as an agent. PTP, (Performance Through People), ran the two year programme that saw Sue gain a Level 3 apprenticeship as a Learning and Development Practitioner and she is now applying her newly honed skills to supporting CSC colleagues, based at Dignity’s Sutton Coldfield head office, with their own training needs.

Sue Cruxton was familiar with the world of apprenticeships – she used one to get her first job after leaving school.

She said: “I’ll admit to being apprehensive about studying again after so long, but age should never be a barrier to achieving your goals.  I really enjoy learning and so I was happy to take on the apprenticeship.”

“The apprenticeship was recommended by my manager Annette Smith as a development opportunity. I was already a Learning and Development Specialist in the CSC but to that point I had been relying on shadowing other people and on the job coaching to build up my skills.  This was a way of accessing formal training and gaining a recognised qualification.”

Over the two years of the apprenticeship, 20% of Sue’s working week was devoted to studying and all the materials were accessed online, with a PTP assessor visiting her at head office.

Sue said: “We usually met once a month, but I could always contact the assessor if I had any queries.  My team were also really helpful, offering plenty of advice and encouragement.”

Her PTP tutor Maureen Begum was so impressed with Sue that she put her forward for the Outstanding Apprentice of the Year award at the Birmingham Apprenticeship Awards, taking place later this month.

Maureen said: “I was impressed with Sue’s positivity, determination and her commitment to completing the programme and getting tasks completing, whilst she had a lot going on in her personal life. I felt she needed to be recognised.

“Sue was an absolute pleasure to work with. She was very conscientious and committed to learning. With everything that was going on in her life, she remained focused, positive, met deadlines and continued to push herself. I could not have asked for a better student.”

She added: “Sue’s apprenticeship journey began as she was heading towards her 60th birthday. She was initially reluctant, believing apprenticeships were for 16-18 year olds and because she last studied over 20 years ago.

“But she accepted the opportunity, believing you should challenge yourself and face your fears.  She felt it was important to show everyone you can achieve anything you put your mind to, regardless of your age and situation.”

Annie Pamplin, senior learning and development business partner at Dignity, said: “We would like to congratulate Sue for her nomination for ‘Outstanding Apprentice of the Year’ at Birmingham Apprenticeship Awards. All of us here at Dignity wish Sue the best of luck at the awards later this month.”

Unfortunately Sue won’t get to attend a glitzy awards ceremony as the event is being held virtually because of COVID-19, but she and her Dignity colleagues, and the team at PTP, will be tuning in when the event is streamed live on 27 November.

PTP Training Ltd, which trades as Performance Through People, is an experienced provider of training contracts at employers across the region and is currently working in partnership with the Greater Birmingham and Solihll LEP (GBSLEP), through the Greater Birmingham Ladder initiative – a partner in the apprenticeship awards – to participate in a triage-style business service that supports apprenticeships during the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

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For further information, please contact:

Gill Durkin, Business Development Director,

PTP Training, Essex Terrace, Intown, Walsall, West Midlands WS1 1SQ.

Telephone: 03332 408302

Email: gilld@ptp-training.co.uk

Website: www.ptp-training.co.uk

Prepared and issued by ASAP PR – 07990 978257

Note to editors:

PTP Training Ltd is part of the BCTG Group, a West Midlands-based training organisation which supports almost 10,000 young people and adults each year.

The group has ten sites in Birmingham, the Black Country, Staffordshire and Newcastle-under-Lyme, and also includes The Apprenticeship Works, BCTG Ltd, Eurosource Solutions and Further Training.

Overall, the group offers 166 different types of apprenticeship, 84 different adult upskilling and reskilling courses and 27 pre-apprenticeship programmes for 16 to 18-year-olds. These include everything from healthcare and early years care to construction, engineering, manufacturing and logistics, through to business skills in IT, management and team leading.

Former Midlands prisoner becomes youth skills tutor, thanks to BCTG initiative

A former prisoner has turned his life around thanks to an initiative run by BCTG, one of the Midlands’ leading workforce training and apprenticeship organisations.

Nathanael Henry, from Highgate in Birmingham, was serving a sentence for various serious driving offences at HM Prison Oakwood in Featherstone, Staffordshire until the late summer of 2019.

Today, after a series of intensive training programmes, Nathanael’s positive attitude has resulted in him landing a job at BCTG as a tutor, helping to inspire youths to gain employment skills.

Des Hamilton, a mentor for BCTG’s Talent Match programme, recalled how he first met Nathanael at Oakwood prison in August 2019 to chat through what he wanted to do when he was released, and what support he would need.

Des said: “Nathanael told me he wanted a career in construction and so once he was released we got him on to a six-week construction course in Hollywood, near south Birmingham, with an organisation called New Leaf Training.

“He wasted no time making the most of this opportunity, not only gaining construction qualifications but also the respect of his peers and tutors because of his positive and encouraging attitude towards everyone around him.

“He moved into his own accommodation, which was very important to him, and after completing the course he went on a bricklaying course at the BCTG Skills Centre in West Bromwich.

“Once again, Nathanael excelled at achieving the qualification and put things in place to set up his own gardening business, working on clients’ gardens during weekends.

“His work ethic, positivity and encouragement to his peers did not go unnoticed and so, after passing the bricklaying course, the BCTG Skills Centre offered him a job as one of their tutors.

“The centre’s management had noticed his potential and the good influence he had on people around him, and they thought he would be a great inspiration for younger bricklaying students aged 16 to 18.

“The centre is now giving Nathanael the training he needs to be a qualified tutor and assessor, and he’s really enjoying this role.”

Des added: “The younger students really look up to him as he has shared his story with them and encourages them to stay on the right path.”

Nathanael, aged 27 and a dad-of-one, said: “I’m really grateful to everyone at BCTG, the Talent Match programme, New Life Training and the skills centre for having faith in me.

“It’s hard to believe that just last summer I was still in prison but that today I’m in a job and helping other young people achieve their potential.

“I’m really enjoying explaining to them how you can learn from your mistakes and turn your life around for the better.”

BCTG’s Talent Match Black Country initiative is a voluntary engagement programme which aims to increase the optimism, motivation and confidence of people who have been out of work for a year or more.

For more details, visit https://www.bctalentmatch.com/.

Ends (486 words)

For further information, please contact: 

Chris Luty, Chief Executive Officer,

BCTG Group, European Business Park, Taylors Lane, Oldbury, B69 2BN. Tel: 0121 544 6455

Or email  chris.luty@bctg.org.uk

Note to editors:

BCTG Group is a West Midlands-based training organisation which supports almost 10,000 young people and adults each year.

The group has ten sites in Birmingham, the Black Country, Staffordshire and Newcastle-under-Lyme, and includes PTP Training, trading as Performance Through People, BCTG Ltd, Eurosource Solutions, Further Training and The Apprenticeship Works.

The group offers 166 different types of apprenticeship, 84 different adult upskilling and reskilling courses and 27 pre-apprenticeship programmes for 16 to 18-year-olds. These include everything from healthcare and early years care to construction, engineering, manufacturing and logistics, through to business skills in IT, management and team leading.

BCTG welcomes PM’s commitment to revitalise adult education

The Midlands’ leading training company has welcomed the Prime Minister’s promise of a radical shake up in adult education.

But Chris Luty, managing director of Oldbury-based BCTG, said it was important that the Government also recognised the value of grass roots training.

“We are already seeing people losing their jobs, who will need to reskill to regain employment. They need access to good quality funded training.

“While Level 3 qualifications are important, we can’t forget the value of Level 2 qualification, particularly for young adults, as a stepping stone to a career. We need to ensure we get the foundations right as well as building on higher level skills.

He said it was essential that these qualifications are delivered flexibly in a way that suits both the learners and employer.

“We should be using the ‘Martini Model’ – anytime, anyplace, anywhere.

“BCTG has an outstanding reputation for delivering highly flexible courses as a mix of online, remote classroom and face to face – this is very well suited to this new generation of qualification.”

He stressed that it was important that the government did not overlook practical skills such as construction and engineering – the engine room of any economic recovery.

“The Prime Minister mentioned digital skills and this is important but we must not forget the less trendy and fashionable sectors when we already know we need to build more houses and we need to manufacture our way through Brexit and beyond,” he said.

BCTG Group is a West Midlands-based training organisation which supports almost 10,000 young people and adults each year.

The group has ten sites in Birmingham, the Black Country, Staffordshire and Newcastle-under-Lyme, and includes PTP Training, trading as Performance Through People, BCTG Ltd, Eurosource Solutions, Further Training and The Apprenticeship Works.

The group offers 166 different types of apprenticeship, 84 different adult upskilling and reskilling courses and 27 pre-apprenticeship programmes for 16 to 18-year-olds. These include everything from healthcare and early years care to construction, engineering, manufacturing and logistics, through to business skills in IT, management and team leading.

Ends (340 words)

For further information, please contact:

Chris Luty, Chief Executive Officer,

BCTG Group, European Business Park, Taylors Lane, Oldbury, B69 2BN. Tel: 0121 544 6455

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP PR – 01608 651203, mobile 07990 978257.

Note to editors:

BCTG Group is a West Midlands-based training organisation which supports almost 10,000 young people and adults each year.

The group has ten sites in Birmingham, the Black Country, Staffordshire and Newcastle-under-Lyme, and includes PTP Training, trading as Performance Through People, BCTG Ltd, Eurosource Solutions, Further Training and The Apprenticeship Works.

The group offers 166 different types of apprenticeship, 84 different adult upskilling and reskilling courses and 27 pre-apprenticeship programmes for 16 to 18-year-olds. These include everything from healthcare and early years care to construction, engineering, manufacturing and logistics, through to business skills in IT, management and team leading.

BCTG boss urges Midlands businesses to maintain support for their community roots

The head of one of the Midlands’ leading workforce training and apprenticeship organisations has urged local businesses to keep on supporting their local communities.

Chris Luty, chief executive of Oldbury-based BCTG, said: “With concerns over Covid-19 and the economy in general, it is easy to cut back on areas that don’t appear to contribute immediately to the bottom line.

“And it’s hard not to sympathise with businesses that are facing real hardship.

“But it’s vital that we don’t lose sight of our roots and where possible, we continue to support our local clubs and organisations in our community.”

BCTG is a long-term sponsor of Dudley Town FC (The Robins), which narrowly missed out on promotion and an automatic FA Cup spot due to Covid-19. Now the club is heading into the new season by going back to its roots.

And the club is building up its fan base too, with inquiries even coming from Robins supporters as far away as Australia.

The early shut-down of the 2019-20 season due to the coronavirus pandemic saw last season’s results wiped from the books. As a result, Dudley Town’s third place – which would have seen it achieve promotion from the West Midlands Regional League Premier Division, and its automatic FA Cup , were all taken away.

Club director Stephen Austin said: “It was soul-destroying after achieving so much in a great season, but we’ve had to put it behind us. It’s taken a lot of work to get ourselves ready for this season but we aim to repeat that success.”

That positive attitude comes alongside a deliberate move to recapture the club’s glory days of the 1970s and ‘80s, with a return to its traditional red and white kit colours and to its historic Robin club badge.

And its Robins’ Supporters Club has also been relaunched after a hiatus of several years.

“We’re aware of a lot of interest in the club from local people who want to show their support, even if they can’t get along to the matches at the moment,” said Steve.

“We’ve even had people from as far away as Queensland in Australia getting in touch in recent weeks to order our new team shirts. Last year we had contact from people in Milan and Paris – there’s not a month that goes past without an overseas inquiry or a kit order.

“We’ve been around since 1888 and have long, deep, roots in our community. We aim to build on that this year as we campaign for promotion.

“We have struck a partnership deal with the Duncan Edwards Foundation that sees Duncan’s signature on our shirts as we promote the foundation’s work, giving talented young sportspeople from the borough the support they need to achieve their dreams.”

The Foundation was set up to commemorate the legacy of the brilliant Dudley footballer, one of the famous Manchester United Busby Babes, who tragically died of his injuries after the Munich air disaster in 1958.

Steve added: “And our new shirt sponsor is the care sector charity the CareTech Foundation, so we will be promoting their Sparkle for Social Care campaign on our first team kit and our new commemorative polo shirts.”

At the same time, the club’s long-term main sponsor, leading workforce training and apprenticeship organisation BCTG, is working to encourage more businesses across the region to join the corporate team backing the Robins.

Chris Luty said: “It’s a real community-based club that spends a lot of time working with kids and young people, using football to engage and motivate.

“We are hoping to encourage more businesses to come on board. There’s a range of corporate sponsorship packages that won’t break the bank but, together, we can make a real difference to both a historic Dudley football club and to the local community.”

Anyone interested in sponsoring the club is asked to get in touch through the club’s social media outlets, on Facebook and Twitter, or e-mail davef.dtfc@blueyonder.co.uk  or Stephen Austin on stephenaustin_43@hotmail.com

Ends (661words)

For further information, please contact:

Chris Luty, Chief Executive Officer,

BCTG Group, European Business Park, Taylors Lane, Oldbury, B69 2BN. Tel: 0121 544 6455

Or email

Stephen Austin on stephenaustin_43@hotmail.com

Prepared and issued by Simon Penfold of ASAP PR – 01608 651203.

Note to editors:

BCTG Group is a West Midlands-based training organisation which supports almost 10,000 young people and adults each year.

The group has ten sites in Birmingham, the Black Country, Staffordshire and Newcastle-under-Lyme, and includes PTP Training, trading as Performance Through People, BCTG Ltd, Eurosource Solutions, Further Training and The Apprenticeship Works.

The group offers 166 different types of apprenticeship, 84 different adult upskilling and reskilling courses and 27 pre-apprenticeship programmes for 16 to 18-year-olds. These include everything from healthcare and early years care to construction, engineering, manufacturing and logistics, through to business skills in IT, management and team leading.

 

Support for apprenticeship programmes hit by COVID-19 provided by PTP Training

Apprentices and employers who have been affected by the COVID-19 lockdown have been encouraged to contact a support service run by a West Midlands training company.

PTP Training Ltd, which trades as Performance Through People, is an experienced provider of training contracts at employers across the region.

Through the Greater Birmingham Ladder initiative, PTP is working in partnership with the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP (GBSLEP) to participate in a triage-style business service that supports apprenticeships during the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

Gill Durkin, business development director at PTP Training, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with GBSLEP to make sure any existing apprenticeships or opportunities for new contracts don’t fall through the cracks created by COVID-19.

“Our triage-style service can help employers continue training staff who might have previously been on apprenticeship programmes but who have since been furloughed.

“We can also help to match off-programme apprentices, or those who have been made redundant, to new vacancies that have become available.

“There is plenty of information and guidance through this service to assist apprentices as they search for new roles or look to develop skills.”

She added: “We can also provide employers with recruitment advice, and other apprenticeship training providers can be supported to help coordinate filling vacancies and communicate with at-risk or recently lost apprentices.”

Helen Higson, chairwoman of the GBSLEP’s employment and skills board, explained at the launch of the new service how apprenticeships played a huge and vital role in boosting the economy of the region.

She said: “Collaboration and close partnership working, as seen with the launch of these triage services, are crucial in ensuring the development of more employer-led programmes. They also create new opportunities for learners.

“Covid-19 has had a profound impact on businesses across all sectors and we want to make sure we are giving employers every chance to retain staff and encourage apprentices to develop skills to help them become the next generation of leaders in their respective industries.”

Any apprentice or employer needing advice or support from the new triage service can contact a member of the Triage team on hello@gbslep.co.uk or www.gbstriage.co.uk.

Ends (355 words)

For further information, please contact:

Gill Durkin, Business Development Director,

PTP Training, Essex Terrace, Intown, Walsall, West Midlands WS1 1SQ.

Telephone: 03332 408302

Email: gilld@ptp-training.co.uk

Website: www.ptp-training.co.uk

Prepared and issued by Steve Dyson of ASAP PR – 01608 651203

Note to editors:

PTP Training Ltd is part of the BCTG Group, a West Midlands-based training organisation which supports almost 10,000 young people and adults each year.

The group has ten sites in Birmingham, the Black Country, Staffordshire and Newcastle-under-Lyme, and also includes The Apprenticeship Works, BCTG Ltd, Eurosource Solutions and Further Training.

Overall, the group offers 166 different types of apprenticeship, 84 different adult upskilling and reskilling courses and 27 pre-apprenticeship programmes for 16 to 18-year-olds. These include everything from healthcare and early years care to construction, engineering, manufacturing and logistics, through to business skills in IT, management and team leading.

Thursfields advises new owners of National Business Register Group

Thursfields Solicitors has advised Midlands-based Tenn Holdings Ltd on its acquisition of National Business Register Group for an undisclosed sum.

Established in 1984, National Business Register Group, based in Birmingham, provides data on all ten million UK businesses, companies, trademarks and brands, and provides business incorporation and registration services.

Tenn Holdings Ltd was advised on the deal by Joe Rollins, a solicitor in Thursfields’ corporate team, with employment advice from associate director Lisa Kemp in the employment team.

Joe Rollins said: “National Business Register Group provides an invaluable source of information and support when you are setting up your own business. One of the biggest problems faced by a new business is mistakenly copying someone else’s established name, in the same line of business, whether locally, nationally or internationally.

“It is great to be able to access information, advice and support when contemplating the launch of a new business whether as a company, sole trader or partnership, and where advice on trademarks, brands and domain names is required.

“Tenn Holdings Ltd identified National Business Register Group as a business which has clear potential for further growth and we were very pleased to be able to help our client conclude the deal.”

Bevan Edwards, director of Tenn Holdings Ltd, said: “Once we had identified the opportunity to acquire National Business Register Group, Joe Rollins, Lisa Kemp and the Thursfields team were invaluable in helping us get the deal across the line.”

Ends (241 words)

For further information, please contact:

Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: djames@thursfields.co.uk Tel: 01905 677066

Or

Andy Skinner at ASAP PR – 07990 978257

www.thursfields.co.uk

Twitter – @Thursfields

LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/thursfields

Notes to Editors

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with more than 140 staff in five offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Solihull and Birmingham.

BCTG calls on Government to ensure all job schemes work together

The boss of one of the Midlands biggest training groups has called on the Government to ensure that Rishi Sunak’s job creation and retention schemes are able to work together seamlessly.

Chris Luty, chief executive officer of BCTG Group, said the Chancellor’s announcements were very positive but they needed to be aligned for maximum impact.

“The Kickstarter Scheme and the focus on traineeships are very encouraging but we need to ensure that young workers can progress from traineeships into apprenticeships so that at the end of six months they are fully employed and not simply back to square one.”

He welcomed the Chancellor’s £2 billion scheme to create thousands of jobs for young people but cautioned that this needed to lead to long term employment if it was to be judged successful in the longer term.

“It is essential that when we see the details of how these schemes will work next week, they are able to dovetail to the ultimate benefit of the young trainee or worker,” he said.

The Chancellor announced a radical package of new measures to support employment, including a Job Retention Bonus to help firms keep furloughed workers – a one-off bonus of £1,000 for each employee still employed on 31 January 2021.

The new £2 billion Kickstart Scheme targets those aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit and are at most risk of long term unemployment. Funding will cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week for each six month job placement. Employers will have the option to top up wages.

Employment support schemes, training and apprenticeships to help people looking for employment will see a total of £1.6 billion invested.

For each new apprentice under 25 that businesses employ, they will receive £2,000. This will be on top of the existing £1,000 the Government provides for new 16-18-year-old apprentices and those under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan.

An investment of £111 million is intended to triple the scale of traineeships in 2020-21 with the aim of providing young people with access to high quality training.

Other measures include £17 million to triple the number of sector-based work academy placements in 2020-21, and nearly £900 million to double the number of work coaches to 27,000. In addition, a further £32 million will be invested in the National Careers Service to assist over 250,000 young people

Mr Luty said: “These are staggering investment figures, but the devil is always in the detail and we await sight of how these schemes will operate, both individually and together in the coming week.”

Ends (508 words)

For further information, please contact:

Chris Luty, Chief Executive Officer, BCTG Group, European Business Park, Taylors Lane, Oldbury, B69 2BN

0121 544 6455

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP PR – mobile 07990 978257.

‘Outstanding’ performance by Midland NHS apprentices on COVID-19 frontline

Scores of apprentices have made “outstanding” contributions helping health workers tackle COVID-19 across the Midlands, according to the training company that arranged their programmes.

PTP Training, which trades as Performance Through People, has revealed that more than 140 of its apprentices have had frontline experience while working with the NHS throughout the pandemic.

Around 40 of the apprentices are working at West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS), with more than 100 employed by Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Trust, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, and the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Gill Durkin, business development director of PTP Training, said: “We have been overwhelmed at the outstanding response of our apprentices during this difficult time.

“Those working on the front line in the health service have been both extremely brave and busy at work, whilst also making the time to continue with their learning.”

One of the PTP apprentices is Dylan Bamber who is attached to WMAS’s Cheshire Passenger Transport Service team in Warrington.

Dylan, aged 17, said: “COVID-19 has made things more intense, but we’ve carried out exactly the same job as we did before.

“We have had to transfer patients who are suffering from COVID-19, and this involves wearing personal protective clothing at all times.

“But I’ve not found it frightening, because you sign up to the job knowing your facing potentially fatal diseases. To be honest, I’ve worried more about the patients.”

Dylan, who one day hopes to qualify as a paramedic, added that he had been fully supported by his supervisor and colleagues at WMAS, and via digital media by Jackie Pitt, his contact at PTP.

Ms Durkin added: “We have had to adapt our style of delivery by teaching and supporting through e-learning and virtual support by telephone and email, and we’re proud of how both the apprentices and our staff have quickly adapted to this way of working.

“Because of the time invested now, some of our apprentices will reach their achievements well ahead of time which given the pandemic is a remarkable achievement.”

Ends (341 words)

For further information, please contact:

Gill Durkin, business development director, PTP Training, Essex Terrace, Intown, Walsall, West Midlands WS1 1SQ. Telephone: 03332 408302 Email: gilld@ptp-training.co.uk Website: www.ptp-training.co.uk

Prepared and issued by Steve Dyson of ASAP PR – 01789 490786.

Note to editors:

PTP Training Ltd is part of the BCTG Group, a West Midlands-based training organisation which supports almost 10,000 young people and adults each year.

The group has ten sites in Birmingham, the Black Country, Staffordshire and Newcastle-under-Lyme, and also includes The Apprenticeship Works, BCTG Ltd, Eurosource Solutions and Further Training.

Overall, the group offers 166 different types of apprenticeship, 84 different adult upskilling and reskilling courses and 27 pre-apprenticeship programmes for 16 to 18-year-olds. These include everything from healthcare and early years care to construction, engineering, manufacturing and logistics, through to business skills in IT, management and team leading.

30 apprentices keep their jobs throughout COVID-19 thanks to training specialist

A training specialist in the Black Country has helped every single one of its apprentices to keep their jobs throughout COVID-19.

The Apprenticeship Works currently has 30 apprentices placed across the West Midlands, and at the height of the pandemic 17 were furloughed while 13 continued working.

But as the lockdown begin to lift, another five are now busy back at work, with just 12 still protected by the government’s Job Retention Scheme while awaiting restart dates.

The apprentices involved are training in a range of skills including business administration, engineering, warehousing and building services design, and are attached to employers who have worked with The Apprenticeship Works for many years.

These include Voestalpine High Performance Metals, of Oldbury, Unions Fasteners, of Wednesbury, and engineering firm R H Nuttals, of Aston.

Lisa Kelly, agency manager at The Apprenticeship Works, based in West Bromwich, said many apprentices had progressed faster than expected because of online communications.

She said: “We’re thrilled that all 30 current apprentices have kept their jobs, and many are ahead of where they should be thanks to new ways of working, such as e-learning.

“I was really impressed that all our host employers have treated our apprentices exactly like any other member of their teams.

“They made efforts to keep apprentices at work for as long as possible and, in certain cases, set up equipment at home for them.

“Even some furloughed apprentices getting 80% of wages from the government have had 20% top-ups from host employers, and all have been assured their apprenticeships will resume after lockdown.”

Jyoti Gordon, a senior manager at RH Nuttals, said: “We’re very pleased with the work our apprentices are doing and will hire more in the future from The Apprenticeship Works as this has been such a success.”

The Apprenticeships Works is an accredited Apprenticeship Training Agency (ATA), and Ms Kelly said all her staff worked from home throughout COVID-19 to continue supporting their young people.

She said: “We contacted every apprentice regularly, checking welfare and making sure they were engaging with their training providers, using digital means to provide any information, advice and guidance needed.

“The apprentices have all been positive and have had a good understanding of the situation, showing commitment and wanting to remain at work.”

Ms Kelly said the apprentices had adapted to working from home where needed, eagerly continuing with online working supported by training providers, such as The Apprenticeship Works’ sister company Further Training.

This has involved remote contact as opposed to face-to-face reviews, with apprentices fully supported digitally via Teams, Zoom or Facetime.

Ms Kelly explained that vacancies for The Apprenticeship Works had been on hold during the pandemic, but employers were now starting to contact them to explore new apprenticeship opportunities.

She said this was an attractive ‘risk-free’ option for employers, as the ATA employs the apprentices, meaning the businesses involved increase their productivity in an affordable manner, knowing that all HR functions, training and support are provided.

Ms Kelly added: “We are more than able to adapt to new ways of working, such as digital meetings for interviews for vacancies and remote signups for new apprentices.

“In summary, it’s a new business as usual at The Apprenticeship Works, with social distancing taken into account.”

Ends (541 words)

For further information, please contact:

Lisa Kelly, agency manager at The Apprenticeship Works, The Workshop, 330 High St, West Bromwich B70 8DJ. Tel: 0121 544 6455 (option 1). Email: lisa.kelly@theapprenticeshipworks.com. Website: www.theapprenticeshipworks.com

Prepared and issued by Steve Dyson of ASAP PR – 01789 490786.

Note to editors:

The Apprenticeship Works is part of the BCTG Group, a West Midlands-based training organisation which supports almost 10,000 young people and adults each year.

The group has ten sites in Birmingham, the Black Country, Staffordshire and Newcastle-under-Lyme, and also includes PTP Training, trading as Performance Through People, BCTG Ltd, Eurosource Solutions and Further Training.

Overall, the group offers 166 different types of apprenticeship, 84 different adult upskilling and reskilling courses and 27 pre-apprenticeship programmes for 16 to 18-year-olds. These include everything from healthcare and early years care to construction, engineering, manufacturing and logistics, through to business skills in IT, management and team leading.