Apprentices get connected in new centre

Opening of Calderdale College Communication Skills Academy.
Opening of Calderdale College Communication Skills Academy.

Calderdale College unveiled a new apprenticeship centre aimed at equipping students with on the job training.

Customer service apprentices are already training in the Communication Skills Academy centre at the college’s Technology Centre, Francis Street, Halifax.

The centre was officially opened by Vicki Heslop, senior manager for policyholder claims at Covea Insurance, Halifax.

She said: “It is great to be invited to officially open the Communication Skills Academy. Apprentices from the Academy are gaining vital skills which will make day one into work an easy transition.”

The unveiling of the new centre took place during National Apprenticeship Week, March 9-13.

Calderdale College’s director of business development, Andrew Rodney, said: “The idea for the Academy was born from local labour market intelligence which showed, over the last 12 months, this sector has the highest volume of vacancies in Calderdale.”

The college has established partnerships with local businesses to promote apprenticeships.

Andrew added: “The Academy will be both a place of learning and also a place for apprentices to gain real life work experience.”

Eight customer service apprentices are currently enrolled on the course.

Call handling apprentice Ambreen Akhtar, 19, from Halifax, said: “My apprenticeship is awesome. We are getting paid and learning at the same time and I’ve improved my telephone and communication skills because of call training.”

Calderdale College interim principal, Denise Cheng-Carter, said: “Our vision for the Communication Skills Academy is to bring training and future employment together.

The Academy will be working closely with local employers to provide well-trained, work-ready apprentices for the job market. I hope to see a thriving Academy in years to come.”