‘Challenge Accepted’ for Training 2000 Apprentices!

Nine apprentices have risen to the challenge after Training 2000 entered the ‘Brathay Apprentice Challenge’.

Supported by the National Apprenticeship Service, teams from across the country must carry out work-related challenges to promote the benefits of apprenticeships – developing new skills in the process.

After initial regional heats, 8 teams will be announced as national finalists on May 18, in the House of Commons.

With seven apprentices taking part who work within the training organisation and two engineering apprentices, challenges include engaging with school and college students about why choosing an apprenticeship could be for them, and discussing within businesses and professionals the benefits that hiring apprenticeships have within an organisation.

Training 2000 finance apprentice and leader of the nine-strong team Michael Buckley, said of the challenge:

“This is a really exciting opportunity for us to promote the huge benefits that an apprenticeship can bring.

“Each of our team really feels strongly about how positive the experience of being an apprentice has been for us on the journey forwards in our individual careers.”

Nigel Rowlands, HR Director said: “Each of the apprentices who are taking part in the Brathay Apprentice Challenge are really excited to get started, and keen to promote apprenticeships to as wide an audience as possible.

“We have a strong desire to be successful and give our best, and although there is some strong competition, hopefully we will be able to make the national finals later this year.”

For more information on the challenge nationally, click here.

Future Apprentices Attend Training 2000 Open Evenings

February has seen Training 2000 hold their annual open evenings – with hundreds of young people coming along to learn about building their career through apprenticeships and training.

With events held at Blackburn, Blackpool and Nelson, future learners had a first-hand look around the Training 2000 facilities and talked to training experts who deliver a wide variety of courses.

Young people also had the opportunity to talk with businesses currently on the hunt for apprentices – and apply for live vacancies on the night.

There was also plenty of fun activities across the open evenings – with a Batak machine available for people to test their reaction speed, a tyre change challenge where competitors removed and reattached the bolts which held a car tyre in place against the clock – and even a military field gun!

Current apprentices were on hand to talk through their experiences, whilst demonstrating the skills they have learnt both through training and in the workplace.

An example of this was seen as engineering apprentices gave away brass ‘Rolos’ as a Valentine’s Day gift – and showcased the full process which is necessary to create them.

At the Blackburn event there was also the opportunity to complete a loyalty card – gaining a sticker for each Training 2000 department by visiting the relevant stand to learn more – with a variety of prizes up for grabs.

Steve Gray, CEO of Training 2000 said: “These events are a great opportunity for young people to see the wide range of courses that we offer, talk to our learners about their experiences and meet with businesses who are currently looking for new starters to take up a range of apprenticeship positions.

“Delivering increased skill levels and higher qualifications is an important part of the work we do, and this is also an opportunity to showcase how Training 2000 inspires learners to achieve them.”

To have a look at the latest apprenticeship vacancies, click here.

Our top 5 GCSE revision tips

As the days and weeks race by, exam season is upon us. It might only seem like yesterday that the school year started but now we are well into the new year, the summer exams are fast approaching.

We’ve put together some tips for getting the most out of your GCSE revision:


  1. Plan ahead

Creating a revision timetable which schedules your time between each of the subjects you’re taking will make sure you manage each of them, instead of ending up in a situation where you have over-revised for one subject whilst feeling totally under prepared for another.

Taking into account things such as the date for each exam can also feed into the planning process – if your Maths exam is 4 weeks after an English exam, then this will give you additional time to revise for the former.

Even though you should begin revision early enough so that before any of your exams actually take place, you feel confident across the board, it is still good to bear in mind which come first, and which you have a little bit more time on.


  1. Equip yourself

Making the revision process as painless as possible mainly comes down to how you best work. Does writing facts and stats onto sticky notes and placing around the house help you remember them? Or does simply writing into a notepad or just reading textbooks provide you with enough knowledge?

Either way, make sure you have all the pens, paper and any other things you need to hand, as using revision techniques which don’t work for you will be ineffective, cause unnecessary stress and ultimately not provide the results you want.

It’s also a good idea to mix up your revision techniques – podcasts, whiteboard, videos, loads of digital help can be found if this is the best way you work and learn, so make sure you do the research and know what’s out there.


  1. Allow some flexibility

Even though creating and maintaining a revision schedule is a crucial part of working towards exam success, you still need to allow some flexibility where necessary. If one subject is taking a little bit more time to get to grips with, alter your schedule and put that little extra bit of time in.

Also if you’re feeling burnt out, take an extra break – you’re unlikely to learn much if you’re feeling over-stressed and likely to put yourself off from future revision, you can catch the time back up later as long as you plan ahead accordingly.


  1. Past papers = future success

Practise really does make perfect, and using past papers is the perfect way to test out your knowledge and make sure you’re taking everything that you’re revising in.

Set yourself a mini exam, where you have peace and quiet to replicate what it will be like on the day – and ask your teachers if you’re struggling to get hold of past papers, they’ll be more than happy to help and have access to a wealth of materials.


  1. Stay calm!

Sometimes easier said than done, but when you’re confident in what you know for the exam, just remember to tell yourself you’re as prepared as you could be, and as prepared as anyone else in the room could be.

You’ll probably feel like there’s a little bit you can’t remember, or something you wish you had more time for, but this is natural. Keeping calm and putting onto paper what you’ve practised is all that matters on exam day.


4 ways hiring an apprentice can revolutionise your business

Hiring an apprentice has the potential to change your business for the better, with a wealth of positives from growing your workforce in this way. With different apprenticeships, starting with school leavers at 16 right up to young people in their 20’s, there are a range of options to choose from.

We have put together some pointers on how an apprentice can have a positive impact on your organisation.


  1. Driving new ideas & productivity

Learning on the job alongside the studying of a relevant qualification, businesses may be concerned that hiring an inexperienced apprentice might have a negative impact on the businesses productivity as a whole.

However, this couldn’t be further from the truth, with Populus statistics showing that 76% of businesses said apprentices provided a higher level of productivity – with 81% saying that they increase how productive the company is as a whole.

Hiring an apprentice is also a great way to bring in new ideas and can be a refreshing addition to your overall workforce.

Often learning skills through external training which current staff either do not possess or have not used for a long time, an apprentice can also share their learning with the rest of your employees, benefitting the entire company.


  1. Nurture a loyal workforce

The ability to build a dedicated workforce from the ground up is another great opportunity presented by the hiring of apprentices.

Learning how your company works in-depth will stand them in good stead for building a long term future with the business – working their way up through the levels and potentially increasing the amount of internal promotions – hiring from within.

By nurturing employees and investing in the people who make your business tick not only provides opportunities for apprentices but demonstrates that you care about all of your staff – driving loyalty from the entire workforce.


  1. Filling a skills gap

In some sectors, there is a shortage of candidates with the right skills for certain positions – when employers take on apprentices they are playing an important part in the development of their industry, as well as their business.

Instead of waiting for the right people to join your business, developing and training them yourself gives the unique opportunity for both the organisation and individual to grow and develop together, with the skills needed for the current role alongside future progression part of the learning, both on the job and during any off-site course.


  1. Cost effective investment

It is crucial to think of the short, medium and long term investment which come as part of hiring apprentices. Whilst there is a cost, government grants and incentives are available to help.

Most apprentices pay for themselves within two to four years, depending on the level of apprenticeship which is carried out. Also, with around half of all apprentices planning to stay at the business after completing their training, you’ll likely reap the benefits long into the future.


If you want to discuss how Training 2000 can work with your business as a training partner, learn more by clicking here.

Apprentices visit Rock FM to deliver charity cheque

Two apprentices from Training 2000 were invited over to the Rock FM studios to talk about their fundraising efforts which raised over £100 towards the radio station’s designated charity.

Taylor and Jenna, both first year engineering apprentices who gain vital work experience within an employer whilst developing their skills further at Training 2000’s Blackburn facility, raised £112.59 through a Christmas Jumper Day in December towards the Cash for Kids charity.

To thank the two for their efforts, Rock FM invited Taylor and Jenna to Rock FM HQ in Preston, for a guided tour of the studios.

They also had the opportunity to meet some of the Rock FM presenters, including Fiona Sadler – who received a cheque from the fundraisers.

For more on the Cash for Kids charity, which raises vital funds to support young people in the local community, visit: http://www.cashforkids.uk.com/.

Training 2000 Appoints Cyber Manager as Training Facility Nears Completion

Training 2000 has appointed Sarah Green as business manager for cyber security – and will be responsible for developing the new cyber security training facility based in Nelson.

Previously strategic operations manager at Xyone Cyber Security Ltd for over two years, Sarah’s role involved establishing the company, delivering strategic plans and project management.

Since starting her new position at Training 2000, Sarah has been overseeing the development of the purpose built in-house Cyber Security Centre – which will include a lecture theatre, iMac-equipped classroom and breakout area.

The centre is set to deliver a unique environment where learners will be able to enhance their learning and is set to open its doors from early April 2016.

Sarah said about the project: “I am thrilled to have been appointed by Training 2000, they are such a dynamic and well-respected organisation.

“Cyber security is one of the greatest threats for both businesses and consumers, and I’m excited that we will be able to offer a real solution to businesses across the North West.”

Steve Gray, Training 2000 CEO said:

“Cyber security is such an important issue for businesses across the North West and beyond.

“Our new state-of-the-art training centre will provide quality, relevant training – protecting the digital services which businesses increasingly depend on and linking into the research and development carried out by Lancaster University alongside some of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s current strategies.”

Training 2000 and Princes Trust provide boost for young people

A five day course which allows disengaged young people an opportunity to develop their skills has seen its latest successful graduates celebrating their hard work.

The Blackpool-based programme is delivered in partnership with the Princes Trust, and held at the Training 2000 centre on Stanley Road.

The programme included a range of outdoor survival exercises used to train military personnel which helped the learners to develop confidence, team building and problem-solving skills. They also completed an emergency first aid qualification where they learnt the techniques necessary to potentially save someone’s life.

An awards event took place, attended by dozens of family and friends – with Blackpool MP Paul Maynard and Mayor of Blackpool Cllr Peter Callow attending to congratulate each young person on their hard work throughout the week.

Demonstrating the fitness and teamwork skills which were key parts of the course, two teams competed to move several heavy pieces of equipment, showcasing what they had learnt across the 5 days.

Tesco’s also supported the event, providing food and drink for the learners and guests.

Cllr Peter Callow, Mayor of Blackpool Borough Council said: “It was fantastic to hear about how much progress each person on the course has made through the week. The staff from both Training 2000 and the Princes Trust have really made a difference, increasing their confidence and it is great to see this first hand.”

Debbie Hale, finance director at Training 2000 added: “It was a pleasure to be part of this fantastic celebration, marking the hard work carried out by every young person that has completed the Get Started with Survival course.

“It is also a testament to how working in partnership with the Princes Trust is changing people’s lives in Blackpool, and preparing them for the world of work.”

7 Top Tips for ‘Bossing’ Your First Job Interview

Applying for your first job can be a stressful time – and when you get offered that first interview a mixture of excitement, nerves and everything in between is only natural.

The first thing to remember is congratulate yourself! It is a great achievement to get an interview with often dozens of candidates vying for any position. You clearly have skills that fit the role and now it is just about expanding on these in-person.

Here are our handy tips – which will help you on the way to impressing your interviewers:


1. Dress for the occasion
This doesn’t necessarily mean going into an interview suited and booted – you need to dress appropriately for the role and where you’ll be working. Often smart casual can be the way to go unless the role calls for the formal option.

2. Knowledge is power
Researching the company is a key step in making your interview a success – showing you know about the business, that you’re enthusiastic about the position and what your skills will bring goes a long way to making a lasting, memorable impression.

This will allow you to answer any questions confidently and help show you’re passionate about their business.

3. Practice makes perfect
If possible, it’s a great idea to ask a friend or family member to help you practice your interview technique.

Find some common interview questions and test your answers – even if the questions differ on the day you’ll still have the relevant information to answer confidently and thoroughly, and most interview questions are variations on common themes.

4.Timing is everything
There are few times when arriving late can have such a negative impact than a job interview. This might be the one chance you have to show why you are perfect for a role in their business and if they cannot have faith that you’re punctual, then anything else may fall by the wayside.

Make sure you know exactly where you are going and how to get there, allow time for traffic and aim to arrive around 15 minutes before the interview is due to start.

5. First Impressions
When you first meet your interviewer, smile, be friendly and if appropriate strike up a conversation. Most importantly, relax – keep eye contact and shake hands firmly.

6. Express yourself
Once in the room, you should be fully prepped and ready for anything the interviewer(s) have to throw at you – but remember, it’s not just what you say, it’s the way you say it. Smile, relax and maintain a friendly demeanour.

As well as your skills, an interviewer will want to see whether you will fit in within the company as a whole, as well as your future team.

7. After the interview
Maintain a happy demeanour at the end of the interview, and thank them for the opportunity. It is important for the last interaction you have with the interviewing panel to be positive, as alongside first impressions this is a major factor in how you will be remembered when the decision making starts.


Find out more how Training 2000 can help you http://www.training2000.co.uk/information-advice-and-guidance/  

Training 2000 starts 2016 with double awards nod

January was a month to celebrate for Training 2000, after being nominated for two awards.

The Red Rose Awards announced Training 2000 as a finalist in the ‘Skills Provider Category’ – in recognition of our work with employers and employees to develop skills.

These awards showcase the best that Lancashire has to offer – celebrating business, commerce and industry within the county.

There was further good news, with the large Group Training Association also being named as finalists in the ‘Procurement Team of the Year Award – Other Organisations’ category of the National Government Opportunities (GO) Excellence in Public Procurement Awards 2016/17.

The National GO Awards have been the benchmark for public procurement across the last 16 years.

Steve Gray, CEO at Training 2000 said:

“We are delighted to be selected as a finalist for both of these awards – and I think it demonstrates once again the hard work and dedication of our staff across the organisation.

“Delivering a quality service for employers and learners alike is key to our success and is the bedrock of everything we do.”