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Local Enterprise Partnership to organise series of events to promote apprenticeship schemes

Berkshire, 27th June 2012. The Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (TVB LEP) announced today that it will host a series of events to raise awareness of apprenticeship opportunities available in the area, in collaboration with the Education Business Partnership, the Berkshire Local Authorities and FE Colleges across Berkshire. These events are free to attend, and are being held across Berkshire to support students, parents and carers to understand the various career options available through apprenticeship schemes. The events will focus on the opportunities available for people aged 16-25.

Steve Lamb, Chair of the TVB LEP commented, “We speak with businesses of all sizes on a regular basis to understand where skills shortages may lie, and what the best routes to employment for our region’s young people are. Apprenticeships are a great way for young people to gain valuable work experience while earning money. These events are designed to raise awareness of options that some may not previously have considered when beginning a career. We have arranged for dozens of companies who employ apprentices to attend so that young people and their parents can hear first-hand what each role entails. Businesses have a very positive view of apprentices, with one in five hiring them to combat the tough economic climate; 92% of businesses also believe that apprenticeships lead to a more motivated workforce. It really is a win/win situation.”

There will be a total of six free evening events run across Berkshire, covering each Local Authority area. The first two events are listed below, the final three will be held in September and October on dates to be announced. For details of how to register and attend, please visit the websites which accompany each date:

• 3rd July at The Copthorne Hotel, Slough (http://sloughapprenticeshipevent.eventbrite.com/?ref=elink)
• 4th July at Newbury College (http://www.ebpwb.co.uk/what-next/)

Each event will include presentations, CV preparation and interview skills workshops, information on volunteering opportunities for young people, and a marketplace of businesses who currently recruit apprentices and trainees. Last year over 1,330 apprenticeships were created in Reading alone, and the TVB LEP is aiming to support the growing number of opportunities this year.

The events come at a time when there are more than 200 different types of apprenticeships available in the UK, offering over 1,200 job roles across a range of industry sectors. A recent poll showed that 70% of UK employers feel that apprenticeships are at least of equal value to a university degree, while the government has invested £25 million in Higher Apprenticeships which is the apprenticeship equivalent to a degree course.

The TVB LEP are a business led body, working to maintain the status of the region as the engine of the UK economy, and to further attract inward investment. The TVB LEP’s central initiatives are improving transport and infrastructure through the Western Rail Access to Heathrow (WRAtH) programme, widening access to superfast broadband throughout the Thames Valley, and ensuring a work-ready population through the development of skills and education opportunities.

For more information on the TVB LEP, its key initiatives and how you can get involved, please visit www.thamesvalleyberkshire.co.uk.

-ENDS-

About Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership

TVB LEP is business led and made up of key leaders across the business, education, the voluntary and community sector and six unitary authority areas of: Bracknell Forest, Reading, Slough, West Berkshire, Windsor, and Maidenhead, and Wokingham. For more details of the membership of TVB LEP please visit the website http://www.thamesvalleyberkshire.co.uk. Organisations interested in bidding for funds should contact Deborah Wharton or Richard Tyndall on 01628 796020. You can download a full briefing and FAQs document on Growing Places Fund via the website.

Media Contact:

Michelle Allison
C8 Consulting Ltd
Michelle@c8consulting.co.uk
+44 1189 001132

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