Working to boost apprenticeships

Andrew Rodney
Andrew Rodney

CALDERDALE College is targeting the district’s employers to boost work-based learning opportunities.

Only 7 per cent of employers in Calderdale use apprenticeship schemes to train staff.

And, Andrew Rodney, director of business development at the college, heads up a team engaging with firms to ascertain training needs.

Over 530 students attending college are on around 20 apprenticeship courses which range from retail to social care and business administration.

The drive to get more people into work has led to a Government grant worth £1,500 to firms taking on apprentices.

Mr Rodney said apprenticeships were roughly 50/50 for the 16-18-year-olds new to work, and adult apprentices already in work boosting their skills.

“A key aim is to get employers to give young people jobs on apprenticeship schemes and we back that up by giving qualifications in that particular sector,” he said.

“And, we are looking to develop those already in a job.”

The college is now more flexible in its approach and integrates apprentices where possible into the mainstream college classrooms.

It also has lecturers going into companies to deliver management courses.

“Some employers don’t realise the opportunities there are to train their staff and feel there is a catch,” said Mr Rodney.

“But, because training is high on the Government agenda there is now a massive opportunity for employers to take advantage and the Government is wanting colleges to take a lead on this.”

Mr Rodney, 41, commutes from Doncaster and has previously worked as an assessor of apprentices and in the private sector for training providers. He said he had joined a forward-thinking college with ambitions and the desire to progress.