Sainsbury's plans to employ 400 apprentices over the next year in a new scheme to train managers.
The announcement follows news that employers will be able to develop their own apprenticeship qualifications to tackle skills shortages under plans announced by the Government. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said training standards and qualifications should be tailored around the needs of employers.
Apprentices took over the historic Admiralty House in London’s Whitehall on Wednesday transforming the venue into a celebration of the achievements of Britain’s apprentices, at an event hosted by Mr Clegg.
The Deputy Prime Minister’s reception was held in praise of the contribution apprentices have made in creating some of England’s finest and most respected exports, goods and services and marks this year’s National Apprenticeship Week.
The reception showcased the work of apprentices; with the VIP’s food on the evening served by apprentices from Greene King, Spirit Pub Company, Charnwood Training and Restaurant Associates, part of Compass Group. The Huddersfield Textile Centre of Excellence also exhibited products and services they have delivered whilst Apprentice Champion of the Year, Jenny Westworth from BAE Systems, explained what it’s like swapping jobs with Skills Minister Matthew Hancock.
Among the employers who took part in the nationwide campaign are apprentices from BAE Systems in Barrow-in-Furness, Berthon Boat Company in Dorset, fashion brand Dr Martens in Northamptonshire, Monarch Airlines in Luton and the V&A Museum in London. Apprentices at each have made a small piece of history by signing their names on a submarine, a refurbished yacht, iconic DM boots, an aeroplane and a theatre exhibition.
Other employers are being encouraged to follow suit by getting their apprentices to put their names to the goods or services they produce, and post their pictures via Twitter, Flickr and Pinterest using the hashtags #Madebyapprentices and #NAW2013. The best images will appear on the Prime Minister’s Pinterest Page.
Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, said:
“Apprentices not only make an invaluable contribution to their employer, but to the economy as a whole. We’ve seen a record number of businesses clamouring to take on apprentices and that’s because they know what a huge difference the talent and ambition they bring can make.
“I'm delighted to welcome so many apprentices to Admiralty House, to recognise their hard work and achievement and to see their creative talents showcased. Apprenticeships should be seen as just as valuable as academic qualifications and give hard-working young people the change to aim high for their dream job.”