058 HPM 1115

HPM November 2015

Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com TRAINING/TECHNICAL Quality training young people deserve Jon Graham, chief executive at JTL, explains how the charitable company is playing its part in helping the government achieve its target of three million apprenticeships by 2020... Provisional statistics revealed by the government recently, show that more people than ever are doing an apprenticeship. In excess of 872,000 people were employed on government funded apprenticeships during the 2014 to 2015 academic year, with almost 30,000 people working to gain the high value skills British businesses need via higher and degree apprenticeships. Skills minister, Nick Boles, said: “Our apprenticeship reforms are helping to build the modern, highly skilled workforce that British businesses need. We are committed to delivering three million apprenticeships by 2020 because that means more opportunities for our young people, and more growth for our businesses.” WORK SKILLS The statistics also show that 2.38 million apprenticeships were delivered in the last parliament. The provisional figures further reveal that 19,200 people started a traineeship in the last academic year, a strong increase over the previous year. Traineeships provide the experience and work skills to progress into an apprenticeship or other job. Of course, these figures relate to apprenticeships and traineeships across every sector and industry. But there’s no escaping the fact that this is all good news and borne out by the figures from JTL in the building services engineering sector, with more apprentices in the WWW.HPMMAG.COM heating and plumbing, electrical and engineering maintenance sectors, than the charitable company has seen for many years. These figures suggest that the perceived improvement in the economy is real and stabilising and that businesses in its target market, especially the small and medium-sized enterprises, have decided the time is right to recruit and bring new blood into their businesses. JTL has become the standard by which other training providers and colleges have come to be judged. JTL’s results speak volumes and not simply in the number of starts it achieves each year. In the last academic year for which records are available (2013-14), it also achieved excellent outcomes. Plumbing, heating and ventilating apprentices that started with JTL four years previously, had an overall success rate of 79.2%, compared with a lower national average of around 69.4%. Fundamental to these results are the quality measurements that are applied at every step. Of those applying for a JTL apprenticeship, something that can now be done simply on line, only ten per cent meet the requirements of their initial assessment test. This assessment is used as the basis for a young person to be included on an approved applicants’ list, which is then circulated to employers for them to shortlist for interview. Unlike some training providers, all of this is provided at no charge, with the service extended to include help in accessing training grants and providing starting documents for 58 NOVEMBER 2015 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY future assessment. These are exciting times for JTL and the company has great plans for the next few years that will, it believes, see the business expanding the intake of new apprentices, while continuing to improve its service, year on year. The government is supportive of apprenticeships and JTL expects that the changes being introduced to the apprenticeship scheme will allow it to build further on the success it has seen this past year. Apprenticeships are an increasingly favoured option for bright young people who are attracted by the chance to earn while they learn and gain professional qualifications, rather than incur huge student loan debt achieving degrees with uncertainty around future employment prospects. HANDSOME DIVIDENDS Key to this growth is the ability to provide the quality of facilities and the standard of teaching that young people expect when they enter training. While JTL works with partner colleges up and down the country it has also invested in significant facilities of its own. It invested over £1 million in its Centre of Excellence in Birmingham at the back end of 2012 and that has already paid handsome dividends in the Second City with growing numbers of apprentices and successful cohorts of trainees passing through its impressive doors. It invested a further significant amount in a new centre in Norwich late in 2014, initially to provide a base for a number of young electrical apprentices that were marooned when their training provider in the city went bust. It’s a centre that is now providing significant support to a much larger number of electrical and plumbing apprentices in Norfolk now that it has become established in the city. The latest announcement sees JTL embarking on an exciting new venture in the provision of a new apprenticeship centre based at Culham Science Centre in Oxford. Culham is the home of the nuclear fusion research in the UK – the future for nuclear energy worldwide. The new 8,500 sq.ft Apprenticeship Academy will provide ‘off the job’ learning facilities for up to 180 apprentices in electrical, heating and ventilating, plumbing and electrical maintenance. As a leading provider of specialist training, JTL has been working with local training outlets to provide the quality of training that employers and young people deserve. enquiry number 125 There more apprentices in the heating and plumbing, electrical and engineering maintenance sectors than JTL has seen for many years


HPM November 2015
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