27th January 2022
We were delighted to be able to offer our members and guests an informative session led by Geraldine Allinson, Chair of the Education Committee, on government-funded learning programmes and apprenticeships. Our panel of highly respected practitioners from across the sector shared their expertise. Anne Ashworth, the Stationers’ Apprentice Ambassador, Neil Weller MBE from Troup Bywater and Anders, and Siobhan Bradley from Pearson plc explored the subject.
The virtual event was well attended with the Stationers’ Master joining in with pertinent questions. The format of the panel enabled time to reflect with points explained by panel members exploring topics through a set of pre-planned questions. Geraldine ably managed the Q&A and interwove the questions into the panel discussions.
The panel took us through the various programmes that are open to businesses to help them to bring in talented individuals and train them allowing staff to further develop and in particular focus on their digital and technical skills. Our content and communication industries are digitally orientated and to know that there are short courses on offer for staff to undertake at very little cost was very well received by the audience.
Apprenticeships were the backbone of the discussions and of course at the heart of the work of our ApprenticeFutures group in the Stationers. Neil and Anne put forward many examples of how beneficial apprentices are to businesses, large and small. Siobhan gave some examples of how small businesses have benefited from having a broader range of candidates, bringing in young people and how they have stayed and are now managers.
What was clear is that there is a lot of information available to employers around these programmes and if thought through they can provide a comprehensive workforce development programme that helps recruit into the business, retain and develop existing staff. Anne assured everyone that it is not too difficult for employers to get involved and that there is plenty of information and guidance on what to do and how to do it.
Anne was also keen to explain how large businesses can support others with the cost of training apprentices and the benefits that would be found in doing this for Stationer members. She illustrated how she is sharing Pearson’s levy fund with over 14 employers and 40+ apprentices are being trained with the cost covered by the Pearson levy. Several of these businesses are in the publishing and printing sectors, with others in high priority sectors like construction, retail and care. The Corporate Social Responsibility case is clear and the return on investment tangible.
Anne is on hand for advice and guidance: Anne.Ashworth@pearson.com