GC apprenticeships buck national trends
Despite the number of apprenticeship starts being down nationally by 61% since the introduction of the levy, Gloucestershire College is celebrating not only an increase in apprenticeship starts of 32%, but an overall apprenticeship success rate of 84% last year – well above the national average of 67% (2015-16).
This year has been an outstanding one for the GC Apprenticeships Programme, with further accolades including three wins at the Gloucestershire Apprenticeships Awards, being shortlisted for the AoC Beacon Apprenticeship Award, and finishing 16th out of 541 training providers in the ESFA Employer Satisfaction Survey, with 99% of employers likely to recommend GC.
Furthermore, GC is launching a new apprenticeship programme with Superdry, after being selected as the sole training provider for all of its national Level 2 to Level 5 apprenticeships.
As part of the partnership, GC has created and tailored a new range of 17 apprenticeship frameworks and standards to match the requirements of Superdry job roles, including Team Leader/Supervisor, Operations Manager, IT Infrastructure, AAT, Business Administration, Marketing, Customer Service and HR.
A new set of fact sheets has also been created and tailored specifically for Superdry apprentices, which provides an insight into each apprenticeship available, including key skills, modules covered and progression pathways.
Part of what makes GC apprenticeships unique is the role of the Training Coordinator, who is the day-to-day contact for both apprentices and employers; a real support for both who monitors and reviews the apprentice’s progress, to ensure timely achievement and completion. GC has recruited a dedicated Training Coordinator to support the Superdry apprentices, who will also help transition existing members of staff on to apprenticeships, including Software Tester, Software Developer, HR Support, Operations Manager and Team Leader.
Julie Tegg, Head of Work Based Learning at Gloucestershire College, said: “We are incredibly proud of the success of the GC Apprenticeships Programme, and delighted that the team is receiving the recognition it deserves. Keeping ‘learning that works’ at its heart, our aim is to continue to move our apprenticeship provision to outstanding levels; making GC the provider of choice for employers and apprentices locally.
“We set ourselves stretching targets to successfully raise our success rates to well above the national average, and expanded the breadth of provision in partnership with employers, the community, schools and organisations.
“Committed to changing outdated perceptions of apprenticeships, we campaign to raise the profile and value of apprenticeships locally, ensuring they are a real alternative to university, and have become known for matching the right apprentices to the right employers to ensure successful outcomes for both.”
Speaking to Business and Innovation Magazine, Jez Light, Group Learning and Development Manager for Superdry, said: “Superdry has always had significant numbers of young people applying to work for us. So, we decided to harness their enthusiasm even if they hadn’t quite got the skills we needed at the time. We introduced apprenticeships to the business, which we deliver in partnership Gloucestershire College.
“We want these young people to be trained, because we want them rising through the business to be leading their own departments in ten years’ time.
“Every training and skills course we do is designed to make our people more productive, enjoy learning and boost the profitability of the company in some way,” added Jez.
Superdry now has 23 apprentices, all of which are building their careers within the company.
Following the introduction of the apprenticeship levy earlier this year, Superdry has been able to extend its training programme. Through its ‘Superdry Academy’, the company is offering relevant training to anyone within the business, whatever age or stage they are within their career.
Read the full story in the November issue of Business and Innovation Magazine.
For more information about GC Apprenticeships and to meet the team, come along to one of the January open evenings: Gloucester (22 January), Forest of Dean (24 January) and Cheltenham (29 January). Register for your place at www.openeveningsatGC.co.uk