Rock FM Cash for Kids Mission Christmas Appeal

This year, Training 2000 is becoming a drop off point for the Rock FM Cash for Kids Mission Christmas Appeal.

Rock FM Cash for Kids have launched the Mission Christmas Appeal to help make Christmas special for the 1 in 5 children in Lancashire who are living in poverty.

We are collecting new and unwrapped gifts suitable for children and young people aged 0-18 years. If you would like to drop off a gift, simply take your present to the following locations across our Blackburn, Nelson and Blackpool sites;

• Blackburn – Work Preparation reception within Hutchinson Building (point of contact Sonya Colley)
• Nelson – Reception (point of contact is the Shared Services Team)
• Blackpool – Reception (point of contact is Craig Haydon)

For the addresses of our sites, click here.

The Mission Christmas Appeal ends on Wednesday the 16th December, known as the Big Drop Off Day. Rock FM will be broadcasting live all day from The Store Room in Preston, with a few special guests and our very own Work Preparation team will be there helping out, so tune in!

Autumn Statement: The Apprenticeship Levy

This is the first fully Conservative Autumn Statement since the Conservatives came into power and it has been full of surprises from the Chancellor, who has made unexpected u-turns on austerity whilst increasing overseas aid and introducing an “Apprenticeship levy”.

Obviously as an Apprenticeship training provider, this news is of great importance to ourselves and our employer customers, so what is the Apprenticeship levy supposed to do?

The Budget suggests that the Government is pinning its hopes on all UK industries raising more than £3bn a year which will fund its commitment to deliver three million apprenticeships over the next 5 years.

A spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said the levy would raise money to fund increases in Apprenticeship numbers and quality, and will be entirely funded by employers rather than the government, establishing the Apprenticeship training that the economy needs to grow and prosper.

It adds that the Apprenticeship levy will support all post-16 Apprenticeships in England, with funding directly controlled by employers via the digital Apprenticeships voucher. The Government Response Paper adds that ensuring the administrative burden on employers is kept to a minimum is a priority.

The question for most of our employers will be “how will the new funds be collected and who will pay it?”

The new levy has been set at 0.5% of an employer’s wage bill and will apply to firms with a pay bill of more than £3 million a year, which the government says will only actually apply to 2% of employers. The levy will be collected monthly via PAYE and will be offset by a £15,000 tax-free allowance.

To answer criticisms from Ofsted that the recent trend for Apprenticeships is quantity over quality, the Conservatives will establish a new employer-led body to set Apprenticeship standards. The body will be independent of the party and will also advise on the level of levy funding each apprenticeship should receive. There will be formal engagement with business on the implementation of the levy at the spending review in the autumn.

In the Autumn Statement, Mr Osborne also revealed that 18- to 21-year-olds who do not “earn or learn” will lose State support.

To ensure young people have the “skills they need to move into sustainable employment” the Treasury states that within six months of submitting a claim, they will be obliged to gain work-based skills, go on a mandatory work placement or apply for an Apprenticeship or traineeship.

We offer a completely free of charge service to help you employ an apprentice, for more information, please get in touch.


WorldSkills UK Success for Engineering Apprentices

Two of our engineering apprentices have taken home medals from the recent national finals of the prestigious WorldSkills UK competition.

The winning group comprises of Fort Vale employee Sam Parkinson (20) who received a silver medal, and Chris Taylor (26) from the WEC Group who achieved a bronze medal. They were competing in engineering sectors CNC Turning and Construction Metalwork respectively.

After showcasing their technical and employability skills in the regional competitions, they were shortlisted to take part in the coveted UK finals which took place between 19th to the 21st November at the NEC in Birmingham.

Whilst at the show they fought off strong competition from almost 600 fellow talented Apprentices, watched by 75,000 visitors over three days. The skills on display included diverse talents such as floristry, hairdressing, forensic science and catering.

The achievements continued when last year’s gold medal winner in CNC Milling Liam Woinson and Sam Parkinson were then both selected to become part of Squad UK. This includes up to 2 years of World Skills training with the potential to compete in Abu Dhabi in 2017 as part of Team UK.

Steve Gray, CEO of Training 2000 congratulated the learners, saying;

“As an organisation that has a genuine passion for training and developing young people, we are extremely proud to have two of our engineering apprentices walk away from WorldSkills UK 2015 with medals and to have two become part of Squad UK.

“Being selected to form part of your country’s team is a huge accolade which is a real testament to the quality of training they have received both at Training 2000 and within their employer’s apprenticeship programs.”

Would you like to become an engineering apprentice? Take a look at our apprenticeships and full-time courses.

MP Kate Hollern Visits our Blackburn Apprentices

MP for Blackburn Kate Hollern has visited our Blackburn apprentices at our headquarters to celebrate their skills.

Kate was formerly the leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council and contracts manager at a college, leading their work-based learning arm, so has a keen interest in developing young people through training.

Steve Gray, CEO of Training 2000 said of the visit;

“We are very honoured that the MP came to visit our Blackburn apprentices today. Group Training Associations like ourselves were recently praised by Ofsted and we want to continue this good work by forging partnerships with employers, the community and people like Ms Hollern.”

After meeting with young people to discuss how they are finding their current programmes and how they see the future development of Apprenticeships, Kate took a tour around the recently updated facilities, which include a soon to be opened Advanced Engineering & Manufacturing Centre.

Ms Hollern said;

“I was delighted to visit Training 2000 and hear about the good work being done by Steve Gray and the team. I was also impressed to hear from a number of young people who are receiving training. The role that Training 2000 is providing, in creating young people who are ready for the world of work, is invaluable. I look forward to working with the group in the future.”