Apprenticeship helps Preesall’s Luke to improve employability

Preesall is on the road to improve his employability after completing an Apprenticeship with Training 2000.

Twelve months ago, after leaving university, Luke Hill was unable to secure a job in his chosen field which left him feeling unconfident and uncertain about his future career plans.

After reviewing his options, Luke began to seek help from Positive Steps into Work, a support team at Blackpool Council which offers free advice on how to improve employability and support to unemployed residents living in the resort who want to get a job.

During this process, Luke was introduced to Apprenticeships, an option which would enable him to secure employment and a nationally-recognised qualification.

After being referred to Blackpool-based training provider, Training 2000, Luke started a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Business Administration, working across the Organisation and Workforce Development and Employee Relations teams.

Having volunteered in a similar administrational role previously, Luke already had some useful background knowledge in his chosen field, so the qualification proved to be well-suited to his existing skills and interests.

The 14-month Apprenticeship has encouraged Luke to get back on track for success, helping him to gain valuable skills and on-the-job experience such as supporting case workers, course admin and bookings, transcribing interviews and learning computer processes.

“Doing an Apprenticeship has enabled me to work across various teams within the Council, such as Organisation and Workforce Development and Employee Relations, and I am now working as part of the Payroll and HR administration team. Completing the Apprenticeship and having the opportunity to work across several teams has definitely broadened my skillset and future career prospects,” said Luke.

“This Apprenticeship has been a great option for me as I’ve been building up knowledge and skills, gaining qualifications and earning money all at the same time. My communication and time-management has significantly improved and I have a professional understanding of the role and responsibilities of the Council.

“I have enjoyed utilising my IT skills to help others in the office and the Apprenticeship has also helped to boost my confidence in a working environment.”

Cllr Simon Blackburn, Leader of Blackpool Council said: “Here in Blackpool, there is a real and well documented need to get more young people out of the spiral of unemployment and onto the career ladder.

“Apprenticeships are a great way to give young people a taste of work while they continue to learn new skills. Not only does it increase their employment chances but it also helps them grow as an individual.

“Luke has adjusted to working in the Council incredibly well and picked up the requirements of his role quickly. He is a very intelligent young man and sailed through his Apprenticeship and soon began to self-manage his own timescales and workload.”

Gillian Sloane, Career Development Advisor at Training 2000, concluded: “During his Apprenticeship, Luke presented himself as an efficient and dedicated individual who worked well both independently and as part of a larger team. He demonstrated excellent employability skills, attendance and professionalism and we think he will go far in his career.”

Training 2000 and Blackpool Council are currently working together as part of a campaign to create and fill 100 extra Apprenticeships places in just 100 days.

Any businesses who want to find out more about taking on an apprentice can contact Training 2000 by emailing [email protected] or calling 01254 54659.

Apprenticeship Award Success

Training 2000 is celebrating Apprenticeship award success after four employers and two apprentices working at East Lancashire businesses have been shortlisted in the regional final of the National Apprenticeship Awards.

Blackburn’s Partwell Ltd and Nelson-based Graham Engineering are up against each other in the Medium Employer of the Year Category whilst Barnoldswick-based Rolls-Royce PLC and Darwen based WEC Group are shortlisted in the Large employer of the Year category.

Matthew Woodhouse, 20, from Oswaldtwistle who works at Partwell Ltd has been shortlisted in the Advanced Apprentice of the Year category and Rolls-Royce employee Sara Underwood is up for the Higher Apprentice of the Year accolade.

Speaking of his Apprenticeship award success, Matthew said: “I am delighted to be shortlisted for the regional finals as it shows how far I have come as an apprentice. It shows that hard work and dedication can really bring success. I am looking forward to the evening and I hope I can go further”

Rowena Brough, Business Manager at Training 2000 added: “Matthew has remained committed and focused on his career path and understands the importance achieving his qualifications through his Apprenticeship. Partwell, Matthew’s employer, worked closely with Training 2000 to support his Apprenticeship and offer him this opportunity”.

Taylor-Jayne Fox, Business Development Manager at Graham Engineering Ltd added “We are thrilled and excited to have been chosen as finalists for this award as we have been working hard, listening to what our Apprentices feel will benefit and enhance both the company and their training, in order to make the Apprenticeship scheme and the end individual a higher skilled and knowledgeable employee”.
Speaking of his achievement, Matthew said: “I am delighted to be shortlisted for the regional finals as it shows how far I have come as an apprentice. It shows that hard work and dedication can really bring success. I am looking forward to the evening and I hope I can go further”

Steve Whitehead, Director of Education and Skills at Training 2000 is delighted to have so many apprentices and apprentice employers in the running.

“We pride ourselves on providing the highest quality training and we are very proud of our apprentices and employers that have reached the regional finals. We know there is always stiff competition for these awards and would like to wish all of our finalists the best of luck.”

The National Apprenticeship awards are in the 11th year and celebrate the very best apprentices and Apprenticeship employers.

Engineering Apprentices Showcase Talent

Engineering apprentices from across Lancashire have showcased their flair and skill at an annual open day hosted by Training 2000.

The 200 apprentices have just completed 42 weeks off-the-job training at Training 2000’s state-of-the-art centres and proudly presented their work to employers, friends and family.

The budding engineers completed specialist training in areas such as CNC machining, turning and milling, electrical engineering, CAD and design, welding and fabrication, maintenance and pneumatics.

Seventeen year old apprentice, Luke Allison, from Preston said: “I enjoyed my first year off the job training and I’ve learnt a lot. It’s great to be able to showcase our work to our friends, family and the boss.

“Soon we will all start working full-time with our employer, Baxi, and then we’ll come back to Training 2000 one day a week to complete our Apprenticeship over the next three years.”

Companies including 3M, Lupton & Place and Graham Engineering were in attendance to see the progress made by their apprentices.

Speaking of the event, Paul Duerden, Head of Engineering at Training 2000, said: “All of our apprentices have done very well and enjoy hosting these events which give them the opportunity to proudly show what they have learnt and produced.”

Training 2000’s popular engineering Apprenticeship programme has won countless awards for excellence and is renowned for its relevance to industry requirements.
The state-of-the-art facilities give learners the opportunity to develop their skills on up-to-date equipment and techniques and the completion rates are well above the national average.

Training 2000’s Bid To Boost Women In Engineering

Training 2000 marked the UK’s first national Women in Engineering Day (Monday 23 June 2014) by introducing a group of year five girls to its engineering workshop.

Led by Marilyn Pilkington, Training 2000’s 14-19 engagement manager and a strong supporter of women in engineering, the group was taken on a tour of the workshop before having a go at manufacturing a brass shaped ‘Rolo’ on a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) lathe and then engraving it on a CNC milling machine, ably assisted by female engineering apprentices Amy Langtree (19) and Joanne Gregory (21). The group was also joined by Annette Weekes, Managing Director of PDS CNC Engineering to show the girls that the career possibilities within engineering are endless.

Nine-year-old St Michael with St John C of E primary school pupil Sifa Turi said: “I really enjoyed making the ‘Rolos’ and I enjoyed learning how to be an engineer. It has inspired me to be an engineer when I grow up.”

Ten-year-old Fatima Desai added: “I really enjoyed making the ‘Rolos’, didn’t think the machines could make  such great things. I’m now considering whether to be an engineer and make things. I’m going to put my Rolo with my medals.”

Marilyn concluded: “I was delighted to host this lovely group of young girls and it was so positive to see them all put their hands up when I asked which of them wanted to be an engineer when they grow up.

“We work hard to attract females into what is a traditionally male-dominated industry so are delighted that a national day has been held to raise awareness.”news-detail-women-in-eng-day-2

Triumph At International Safety Awards

For the fifth year running Training 2000 has received an International Safety Award with merit showing it has maintained excellent standards of health and safety in the workplace.

The awards, organised by the British Safety Council (BSC), recognise businesses with a commitment to health, safety and the well-being of staff and learners and are presented to companies that demonstrate a commitment to preventing workplace injuries and ill-health.

The long-established awards scheme, now in its 56th year, has recognised more than 500 organisations this year.

Commenting on this success, Phil Watson, head of health and safety at Training 2000, said: “We work very hard to ensure the workplace is a safe environment for staff and learners so we are very pleased that our efforts have been recognised for a fifth consecutive year. We take health and safety very seriously and make sure all individuals know the regulations and protocols that are in place to keep them safe.

“With a workforce of just under 300 staff, it is extremely important that we put a huge amount of time and effort into maintaining standards. We also ensure that staff and learners have thorough training on safety regulations and codes of practice which we review on a regular basis.

“We plan to maintain our current commitment to health and safety and hopefully will achieve this award for the sixth year running in 2015.”

Alex Botha, chief executive of the BSC, said: “On behalf of the Trustees and staff at the British Safety Council we would like to congratulate Training 2000 and its employees on gaining an International Safety Award with merit.

“The success criteria for our International Safety Awards is challenging and that rightly reflects the importance of ensuring the risks of injury and ill health in the workplace are properly controlled. We are proud of our association with Training 2000 and their commitment to keeping their employees, learners and workplaces healthy and safe.” 07 August 2014

Donation Benefits Engineers Of Tomorrow

A gift of two assembly machines by the 3M manufacturing site at Clitheroe will be helping apprentices across the North West to learn the tools of their trade.

The machines have been donated to Training 2000 and will enable engineering apprentices to develop their knowledge and problem solving skills on the mechanical maintenance of the machines.

They were no longer being used by the diversified technology company’s Clitheroe site, which makes valves and components for asthma inhalers on behalf of international pharmaceutical customers.

3M has a strong association with Training 2000 and those joining the company’s successful apprenticeship scheme receive a combination of theoretical and work-based learning.

3M site manager Ben Mills commented: “The two machines were redundant for our purposes and we decided to donate them to Training 2000. We’re very pleased they are going to be put to such a good use.

“They will be benefitting new and up and coming engineers – including three of our apprentices attending the training centre this year – by giving them the opportunity to train on real manufacturing machinery.”

Paul Duerden, engineering business manager at Training 2000 added: “We are delighted to have received this equipment from 3M which will enable our apprentices to gain experience on the style of machinery used in many workplaces across the country.

“We pride ourselves on providing a high quality learning environment and this additional equipment will further complement our offering to the apprentices and assist with developing engineers of the future.”

Training 2000 Book Donation Speaks Volumes

Training 2000 has provided text books to enable a learner in Gambia to start a Level 2 Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualification.

Ousman Sawo, 37, worked as a labourer to build the Don McMath Foundation School in Gambia before being asked to join its teaching staff as school administrator.

During this time, Ousman completed the Level 1 AAT qualification and is going to use the books donated by Training 2000 to prepare for his Level 2 AAT qualification which he plans to start as soon as he has raised the necessary funding.

The school, founded by Anne McMath, is named after her late husband Don, a teacher in Sussex until 1991 and is the first and only free school that provides teaching, equipment and uniforms for more than 300 of the poorest children in Gambia.

Suzanne York, an external verifier for AAT who regularly visits the school in Gambia, said: “Ousman started his education late in life so he feels very privileged and thankful that these books have been donated to him, especially as he is constantly looking to expand his skills and learn as much as he possibly can.

“Every one of the 350 students at the Don McMath Foundation School is supported in their education by UK sponsors who pay £60 per year for each child’s education. This has to cover paying the teachers, supplying the uniforms and equipment, along with paying for electricity, so any donations are always greatly appreciated and will help to create opportunities for young people in Gambia.”

Rowena Brough, business manager at Training 2000, added: “Our business has formed strong links with AAT so we felt honoured to present Ousman with some accountancy books that would enhance his learning and help him to achieve the Level 2 qualification. We are always happy to donate what we can to charitable organisations and I’m sure we will be able to make further donations to the school in the future.”

Constructing a bright future

Laura Gwilliam, from Earby, has swapped her bedside manner for boilers, after taking the unusual step of joining her father’s business rather than pursuing a career in healthcare.

Now the twenty three year-old is urging other young women to consider Apprenticeships as a way to gain on-the-job training and real experience – and show that women can cut it in traditionally male-dominated industries.

Laura said: “I had always wanted to follow in my dad’s footsteps, but I didn’t think the opportunity would ever become available. After school, I started training to be a nurse but felt it wasn’t for me and I’d always been interested in plumbing after watching my dad build his business.

Having found out from her friend that Apprenticeships were on offer at nearby Training 2000, based in Blackburn, Laura jumped at the chance to gain some hands-on experience with her dad.

“At first I thought I might be too old to start an Apprenticeship, but Training 2000 has helped me to adapt and develop my skills”, said Laura.

“I enjoy the blend of study and work, and it’s really improved my confidence in speaking with clients and suppliers.

“Being a plumber is not always easy, as there is lots to learn and plenty of physical challenges. However, this is far outweighed by the banter I have on site with other contractors, and even clients are surprised when I turn up on their doorstep for a job!”

Laura began her plumbing Apprenticeship with the Blackburn-based training provider when she was nineteen after a colleague’s recommendation. Her Apprenticeship in plumbing has allowed her to practice all the core skills that she will require in her profession, including gas safety, servicing and commissioning.

Now Laura is working for her father’s business and studying for Level 2 and Level 3 NVQ qualifications part-time. In the future, she would like to take over her father’s company if the opportunity arises.

She added: “This Apprenticeship has given me an invaluable opportunity to gain the qualifications and skills I need to further my plumbing career, and hopefully one day I can own my own business.”

“From watching my dad as I grew up, I thought I knew exactly what to expect from plumbing, but I have learnt so much more about myself and the industry during this Apprenticeship.

“I would not hesitate to recommend Training 2000 Apprenticeships to anyone.”

Speaking of Laura’s progress, Lindsay Dust, career development advisor at Training 2000, said: “Laura is a fantastic student. Her drive and commitment is commendable, and a testament to the hard work that all our apprentices put in to their career development.”

“It is pleasing to see young people such as Laura setting out on a career path and working hard to achieve their goals.”

World Recognition For Training 2000 Is On The Money

Training 2000 has been named by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) as one of the best AAT training providers in the world.

Training 2000 picked up the ‘AAT Small Training Provider of the Year’ accolade on Thursday 3rd April 2014 at a glittering awards ceremony held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole.

Designed to celebrate the use of new technologies and innovative ways training providers engage with their students, the inaugural AAT Training Provider Awards received a large number of entries.

Rowena Brough, Business and AAT Manager at Training 2000 said: “This is a tremendous achievement for Training 2000 and our AAT team, especially as there were over 70 entries worldwide.

“We have been delivering AAT qualifications for more than 12 years to more than 800 learners so to have been recognised at these inaugural awards is an honour and a testament to all the hard work put in by staff and learners and endorses the quality of our programme.”

Winners were announced by AAT President Mike Evans, who said: “Although this is our first year, the response from training providers and individuals has been brilliant and the calibre of entries far exceeded our expectations.

“Tonight was the perfect platform to recognise and celebrate the achievements of businesses and individuals and I look forward to building on the awards success in 2015.”

It has been a very successful 6 months for Training 2000’s AAT team with them having two teams winning Silver and Bronze at the WorldSkills Skills Show in November.

Study Programme Driving Apprenticeship Success

Seventeen-year-old Sam Dysart has turned his hobby into a future career with the help of Blackburn-based training provider, Training 2000.

Darwen resident Sam had enjoyed working on cars since the age of 14, and used Training 2000’s Study Programme programme to help him gain the skills and experience necessary to work in the motor trade.

Sam began the Study Programme after leaving school and applied himself to successfully achieve the required Level 1 standard in English, Maths and Motor Vehicle. He has now begun his Level 2 Apprenticeship in Motor Vehicle at National Tyres, Blackburn.

“I didn’t like doing school work, but I enjoyed being in a real working environment during my placement. It helped me to complete my assignments as well,” Sam said.

“I’m really pleased to have been accepted on an Apprenticeship and I would definitely recommend the Study Programme to other people because the work placement gives you real on-the-job skills and it is totally different to school.”

Sam’s supervisor at National Tyres, Andy , said: “Sam has made an excellent start to his Apprenticeship and we would like to thank Training 2000 for providing a great scheme to young people in the area which helps them gain interest in a career and get on the first rung of the ladder.”

Study Programme offers young people the opportunity to try out a job area that interests them while gaining qualifications that employers demand.


Training 2000 Apprentices Recognised At North West Aerospace Awards

Two apprentices studying with Blackburn-based Training 2000, the largest Group Training Association in England, have been recognised at the annual North West Aerospace Alliance New Talent Awards (NWAA). 

The awards are part of the NWAA’s Take off In Aerospace Campaign aimed at encouraging young people in to the industry by changing the image of careers in aerospace and engineering sectors.

The glittering ceremony, held at the Imperial War Museum, Manchester on 28 November 2013, saw awards being given to the region’s best emerging talent, along with the training providers and companies which support their work.

Ryan Worthington, 20, from Preston, walked away with the ‘One to Watch’ trophy and Tamas Bodis, 39 from Chorley, received the runner-up prize in the Best Apprentice category. Both work for Rolls Royce in Barnoldswick.


Training 2000’s engineering manager, Paul Duerden, said: “The NWAA New Talent Awards celebrate the region’s best aerospace engineering apprentices and we are very proud that two of our apprentices have been recognised for their hard work and dedication.”

Martin Wright, Chief Executive Officer at NWAA, said: “The New Talent Awards ceremony is an important event for new engineers and technicians in the North West. These people are the future of our industry and it’s great to see the exciting activities they are involved in. It is essential that we recognise and reward this emerging talent to keep graduates and apprentices interested in the industry to address the skills gap currently facing aerospace and advanced manufacturing.”

Engineering Apprentices Recognised At Awards Ceremony

Training 2000, the largest Group Training Association in England, hosted its annual Engineering on 29 November 2013 recognising learners and businesses from across the country.

The glittering awards ceremony, held at Visions Learning Trust UTC, a University Technical College, in Burnley, which specialises in engineering and construction, saw more than 50 trophies awarded to a number of businesses and apprentices aged between 18 and 39, for their achievements.

Eighteen-year-old William Wallis, who works for East Lancashire Hospitals, received the Intermediate Apprentice of the Year Award for his excellent commitment and performance as well as a trophy for In Company NVQ Level 2 Electrical and Mechanical Maintenance.

Speaking at the ceremony, William said: “I am really surprised to have won these awards! I wasn’t expecting to win I enjoy my course and have learnt lots of new skills which I’ve been able to take back into my company. I am so proud to have been given these awards in recognition of my achievement.”

Training 2000’s engineering manager, Paul Duerden, said: “The annual Engineering Awards are always a great way to reward our learners’ efforts. They all work very hard, show commitment and determination and we believe this should always be recognised.

“The calibre of learners this year was very high as usual. Recently the news has mentioned a shortage of engineers, however with the array of accolades awarded it is clear that the future of engineering is bright. We are pleased to be able to attract female engineers to follow a career in the industry, and many of our female apprentices have won awards. ”

Here is a list of all the award winners:

Award Name
Young Apprentice of the Year Luke Allison
1st Year Off-the- Job Conventional Machining Aimee Grime
1st Year CNC Apprentice of the Year George Skocki
1st Year Off-the- Job Fitting 2nd Place Sam Bottomly
1st Year Off-the-Job Fitting 1st Place Paul Bigland
1st Year Off-the-Job Fabrication & Welding 2nd Place Paul Bigland
1st Year Off-the-Job Fabrication & Welding 1st Place Sam Bottomly
1st Year Off-the-Job Design Benjamin Smith
1st Year-Off-the-Job Maintenance Martin Allen
1st Year-Off-the-Job Electrical Jonathan Braithwaite
1st Year Nuclear Apprentice of the Year Ashley Hodgeon
Recognition for Behavioural Safety Team Naomi Quinn
George Brankin
Sam Parkinson
Jordan Crossley
Henry Watkins
Jack Stanworth
Jack Adamson
1st Year Off-the-Job Most Improved (LP Technology Award) Shane Taylforth
1st Year Off-the-Job H&S Award George Brankin
1st Year Off-the-Job APP Year 3rd Paul Bigland
1st Year Off-the-Job APP Year 2nd Jonathan Braithwaite
1st Year Off-the-Job App Year 1st Shane Hall
FE C&G Fabrication Kyle Myers
FE C&G Manufacturing Anthony Taylor
FE BTEC National Mechanical Stephen Baker
FE BTEC National Electrical Damien Dutton
FE BTEC National Maintenance David Magee
FE BTEC National Fabrication Brett Ashley
FE Higher National Mechanical Adam Berry
FE Higher National Maintenance Sam Tattersall
FE Higher National Electrical Shaun Valentine
In Company NVQ2 Elec/Mech Maintenance William Wallis
In Company NVQ2 Fabrication/ Welding Sam Richardson
In Company NVQ2 Technical Support Daniel Richardson
In Company Intermediate APP Of The Year William Wallis
In Company NVQ3 Mechanical Maintenance Thomas Middleton
In Company NVQ3 Electrical Maintenance Matthew Cotton
In Company NVQ3 Fabrication/ Welding Bernard Varlyam
In Company NVQ3 Electrical Daniel Holden
In Company NVQ3 CNC Machining 1st Place Daniel Harland
In Company NVQ3 CNC Machining 2nd Place Ryan Worthington
In Company NVQ3 Technical Support Benn Farnworth
In Company NVQ4 Leadership Tamas Bodis
In Company Advanced APP Of The Year Daniel Harland
Outstanding Commitment to Training & Development James Cropper
Inspiring Engineers Careers Award Graham Engineering
Employer of The Year Award Rolls Royce PLC

Training 2000 Welcomes First Powered Access Learners

Training 2000 has launched a dedicated International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) training centre and welcomed its first cohort of learners.
The group, from BAE Systems, is the first to complete the IPAF training course at the newly-accredited centre, based on Challenge Way in Blackburn.

Delivered by qualified IPAF instructors, the course provides on-site and in-situ training for people who work with powered access equipment, such as cherry pickers, fork lift trucks and scissor lifts.

On successful completion of the course, operators will receive an IPAF PAL card allowing them to work in any environment that involves the use of such equipment.

Operating powered access machinery has an element of risk involved, making the accreditation an essential qualification for the likes of scaffolders, construction workers, window cleaners, warehouse operatives and maintenance professionals.

As the training centre has close links to the M65 motorway, the course will be easily accessible for learners across East Lancashire.

Janette Bury, business manager of forklift truck and logistics at Training 2000, said: “We are delighted to be an IPAF accredited centre and offer this qualification as it is an essential safety requirement in many industries.

“Now that the first learners have completed their course, we are expecting more demand and as the centre is also delivering Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) courses for LGV drivers we are confident that the centre will attract learners from across the county.”

Tim Whiteman, CEO and managing director of the International Powered Access Federation, said:”IPAF operator training is available in 28 countries and nine languages, but we are especially glad to add Training 2000 to the list of accredited training centres as they are just 50 miles from our head office in Cumbria – we wish them great success.”


Ex-Apprentice Leads Drive For Recruitment

When Jaydee Davis qualified with an Apprenticeship, she didn’t expect her future career to involve managing other young people looking to gain the same qualification.Jaydee, 28, completed a Level 2 and Level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship at Cummins Mellor Recruitment with the support of Blackburn-based Training 2000, the biggest Group Training Association in England, before starting her role in HR and recruitment at the People 2 People Group in 2011.

The People 2 People Group, based in Blackburn, specialises in several areas within the financial services sector. Their companies include Quickdox, Credit Agreement, Precision Claims, Wise Appointments and Wise Review.
As Group HR and Recruitment Manager, Jaydee is responsible for 150 staff at head office and the ongoing recruitment of 500 self-employed representatives working across the UK.

As an ex-apprentice who has worked her way up the career ladder, Jaydee has an in-depth understanding of what it takes to succeed and now advises 20 learners looking to achieve Apprenticeships in Business Administration and Customer Service.

Speaking from her own past experience, Jaydee, said: “From an academic point of view, I didn’t enjoy school, so I was happy to jump straight into a working environment and earn money whilst gaining a nationally-recognised qualification.

“It’s really rewarding to be able to advise other apprentices in my current role as I recognise that starting out as a young learner and getting used to the working world can be a tough process.
“As a recruitment specialist, I would advise any young learner to choose the right company, show great work ethic, take all feedback on board and most importantly, accept that you have to start at the beginning and learn the basics of any role.

“Currently, employers are looking to find candidates with the requisite skills and work-ready experience as well as the necessary qualifications, demonstrating that Apprenticeships are the perfect route for young people.”
Rowena Brough, business manager at Training 2000, said: “Jaydee is a prime example of how a successful Apprenticeship can lead to great career prospects.

“She always worked hard and received positive feedback from her employer, demonstrating that learners with the right attitude and willingness to learn will always succeed in the future.”

Enhance your IT Skills For The Future

Training 2000 has launched a new IT User Apprenticeship in response to employer requests and learner demand.

Combining virtual learning and employer led on-the-job training, the Apprenticeship is available at both Level 2 and Level 3 and learners will gain the skills and knowledge required to be competent in many IT roles.

Rowena Brough, business manager at Training 2000, said: “Due to constant advancements in technology, an increasing number of employers are looking to recruit young, skilled IT users who can fulfil roles in support, resource development, social networking and software.

“As many administration Apprenticeships are not heavily dependent on IT skills, employers are hoping the IT User apprenticeship will fill this skills gap and encourage more young people to pursue a career in the industry.

“We are delighted to add the IT User Apprenticeship to our portfolio as this qualification will help employers to keep up with ever-changing developments in technology.

“Learners will also have the opportunity to gain the requisite skills and knowledge needed to succeed in IT-specific roles, helping to prevent a shortage of IT staff across all sectors and industries.”

To undertake the new Apprenticeship qualification, learners will need to have a minimum of three GCSEs at grade D or above, including a relevant ICT qualification

Apprentices are medal winners at national Skills final

Seven apprentices studying with Training 2000 secured medals at the recent National finals of the WorldSkills UK competition.

The ‘Lancashire Hotpots’ and ‘Blackpool Rocks’ teams of AAT Accountancy apprentices together with a Mechanical CAD (Computer Aided Design) apprentice were victorious at the Skills Show, held at Birmingham NEC between 14-16 November 2013.  After showcasing their technical and employability skills in the regional and semi-finals, the apprentices joined 800 of the country’s most talented learners at Birmingham NEC and competed in front of 100,000 visitors.


The ‘Lancashire Hotpots’ team, comprised of 19-year-old Comply Direct employee Olivia Milligan, John Painter, 21, who works at Hindle, Jepson and Jennings Ltd and 24-year-old PM+M Solutions employee, Sarah Clancey.

The ‘Blackpool Rocks’ team, comprised of 20-year-old Safe Hands Care employee Victoria Clark, Damon Rhodes, 24, who works at Danbro Accountants and 19-year-old Royal Blackburn Hospital employee, Emma Bowker.

Both teams went head to head in the Accounting Technician final and fought off tough competition from 10 other teams – ‘Lancashire Hotpots’ won the silver medal, and Blackpool Rocks won the bronze.

To add to the medal haul, talented Engineering apprentice Andrew Cartwright who works at Warrington-based Nuvia, won the bronze medal, battling against the nine other competitors in his Mechanical CAD engineering category.

Steve Gray, CEO at Training 2000, said: We are very proud of our winning apprentices. It is an excellent achievement to be recognised on a national level and for all of our apprentices to be ranked in the top three of their field is a testament to their success.

Warrington Apprentice Secures Place In Skills Final

A talented apprentice from Warrington has fought off tough competition to reach the finals of the WorldSkills UK National Competition.

Andrew Cartwright, aged 21, who works at Warrington-based Nuvia and is currently undertaking an Apprenticeship with Training 2000, is set to compete in the Mechanical CAD (Computer Aided Design) category of the national finals taking place at The Skills Show, being held at the NEC Birmingham from 14-16 November 2013.

During the three-day show, 800 of the country’s most talented apprentices and learners will compete in front of 100,000 visitors in 70 skills ranging from floristry to mechanical engineering.

Having made it through a series of regional heats, Andrew will join nine other competitors for three to four days of World Skills International training before attending the final.

Commenting on his achievement, Andrew said: “I am delighted to have reached the finals of such a prestigious competition and both Training 2000 and Nuvia have been extremely supportive of my future development.

“Taking part in the competition will allow me to build on my current skills, test my knowledge against my peers in the industry and help me to progress my future career.”

Jennie Osborne, corporate communications manager at Nuvia, added: “It takes hard work, determination, and a high level of skill to compete against the UK’s most talented learners and Andrew has proven that he has what it takes to be the best in the industry. We’d like to wish him the best of luck for the competition and are all rooting for him.”

Lianne Whittaker, business assurance coordinator at Training 2000, said: “Being invited to compete at The Skills Show 2013 is a fantastic achievement for Andrew and it will give him the opportunity to showcase his skills and experience at a National level. The Skills competitions are a prestigious event and Training 2000 are thrilled to be able to support Andrew on his journey”

Andrew will be heading to the competition along with six other Training 2000 apprentices who have reached the final of the Accounting Technician category.

Training 2000 Appoints New Head Of Provision

Training 2000, has appointed a new Head of Education and Skills. Steve Whitehead, from Burnley, joins Training 2000 after spending the past seven years as CEO of Alliance Learning, based in Horwich. Prior to that role, he spent almost 15 years with Accrington-based North Lancs Training Group.
During this time, Steve, who is a former apprentice, gained a wealth of experience in the training sector and brings an in-depth understanding of the challenges faced by training providers and the opportunities available in the sector.

As the head of education and skills, Steve will have overall responsibility for managing the training provider’s staff and learners to increase training opportunities and continually improve the provision offered and develop staff to their full potential.

He will also aim to ensure that the quality of training delivered remains a high standard and matches the expectations of learners, employers and other interested parties.

Steve said: “Training 2000 has always had a strong reputation and I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to join the company.

“In my new role, I am looking to develop the existing good practice offered and ensure that our standards are aligned to meet employer needs and our outstanding Ofsted grades. I am also hoping to increase awareness of Apprenticeships in both schools and at career events to enhance the quality of our training provision.”

Steve Gray, chief executive officer at Training 2000, said: “Our company is on a journey of continuous improvement and Steve’s new appointment will allow the company to look into ways to develop our provision, ensuring that we can continue to invest in staff and facilities.

“As an ex-apprentice, Steve will be a great ambassador for young people and will play a key role in promoting the value of Apprenticeships to employers.”

Learners Become Journalists For The Day

Training 2000 recently celebrated International Literacy Day by becoming editors of their own newspapers, The Times and The Evening News.
International Literacy Day, held on Sunday 8 September, is organised by the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

For over forty years, UNESCO has been celebrating Literacy Day by reminding the international community that literacy is a human right and the basis for development. The organisation also believes that strong literacy skills form the foundation for lifelong learning.

As part of Literacy Day, learners on the Functional Skills course at Training 2000 have been improving their skills by producing creative and descriptive writing pieces in the form of a newspaper. The articles created included topical news stories of the week.

Christine Halleron, functional skills tutor at Training 2000, said: “Literacy skills are essential in all walks of life and we believe that equipping our learners with a higher literary understanding not only aids their own self improvement but gives them a greater advantage when applying for jobs.”

The Functional Skills course is part of the pre-apprenticeship programme that Training 2000 offers, whereby learners can gain skills and qualifications necessary for their chosen career.

Before becoming an apprentice, all learners are encouraged to study courses in Functional Skills as well as Personal and Social Development.

Danny Carr, a Functional Skills learner, said: “English is important in all career paths. This course has improved my understanding and knowledge of essential English writing practices, which are vital for my CV and letter writing skills.”

National Apprenticeship Awards 2013

The National Apprenticeship Awards 2013 Regional event (for the North West, Lancashire, Cumbria and Greater Manchester was held at the County Chambers at Lancashire County Council in Preston and Training 2000 had a winner!

Henry Clark is currently studying for his Level 2 in Business and Administration and is employed by Blackburn Council.  Henry became our Regional Intermediate Apprentice of the Year.


Henry will now be put forward to a further judging panel along with the other Regional finalists from all over the country to see if he has a place in the National Finals. So please wish Henry lots of luck.

Training 2000 Ltd did very well at this year’s awards with a finalists in each category. Every nominee should be extremely proud of this achievement as there were 16,000 applications from across the country. The following nominee’s were all awarded HIGHLY COMMENDED at lasts night awards –

Alastair Smith – Advanced Apprentice of the Year – Rolls-Royce

Tamas Bodis – Higher Apprentice of the Year – Rolls-Royce

Andrew Hudson – Champion of the Year – Graham Engineering

Twin Valley Homes – Medium Employer of the Year

Dual Award For Training 2000

Training 2000 has been recognised for its comprehensive and stringent health and safety management systems and commitment to quality. These were awarded following 18 months of preparation. 

The Blackburn-based training provider has just received both the ISO 9001 and BS OHSAS 18001 certificates. The two standards, together with the current ISO 14001 certificate gained in 2009, gives the company full certification in quality, health, safety and environmental management systems.

To meet the three standards, Training 2000 has had to demonstrate its comprehensive quality, health and safety culture and systems and that it monitors and limits its impact on the environment wherever possible.

Phil Watson, health safety and environment team leader at Training 2000 says: “This is a fantastic achievement.
“These accreditations show our customers that, as one of the largest Group Training Associations in the country, we are a committed and responsible company operating to the highest standards.”

ISOQAR, the accreditation body with whom the standards have been achieved, made two separate visits over four days with two auditors on site, due to the fact that the company took the unusual step of attempting to achieve both standards at the same time.

Wendy Holden, functional leader in business assurance at Training 2000 added: “Being audited for BS OHSAS 18001 and ISO 9001 is an exacting process and every area of our operation has been inspected.
“It would have been commendable for any organisation to achieve any one of the standards, but to do the two together is a fantastic achievement.

“By delivering continual improvement in our working practices and procedures, we are delivering the highest quality service to our learners, maintaining a safe workplace in which they can learn, reducing potential lost time incidents (LTI), reducing costs and becoming greener at the same time, so it’s a win-win situation.”

Training 2000 Learners Provide Bags Of Support At Retail Outlet

A group of Training 2000 learners will get hands on retail experience when they help a local community interest organisation set up shop.

Eight youngsters have spent time over the past six weeks helping with research and design and setting up the ‘Mum’s The Word’ shop, which sells children’s pre-loved school uniforms and activity items at a fraction of the usual cost.

The team has been busy preparing for the ‘Back to School’ themed launch on Saturday 20th July 2013 and will help to dress the store with much-needed stock.

Co-founded by mumtrepreneurs Rachel Rhodes and Caroline Fatios, Mum’s The Word also provides a textile and footwear recycling service and The Mall Blackburn has provided them with a unit, equipment and marketing support free of charge, during its busiest time of year.

Organised through the training provider’s pre-apprenticeship programme, a scheme which equips people with the skills required to start their career, the group will get hands on retail experience to prepare them for the world of work.

Sarah Lang, Career Development officer at Training 2000, said: “We’re delighted to be helping Rachel and Caroline with their business venture, not only because it will benefit parents in the area, but also because it will provide a valuable opportunity for our pre-apprentices to gain valuable work experience.

“This partnership has given these young people a chance to develop their communication and team building skills, which will help them to secure a job and they are all really enjoying the experience.”

Rachel Rhodes, co-founder of Mum’s the Word, added: “The Training 2000 learners are a great help and we are extremely excited about what we envisage will be an extremely successful summer for the business.”

Loraine Jones, General Manager at The Mall Blackburn, concluded: “We are proud to support Mum’s The Word and look forward to introducing them to our customers at the ‘Back to School’ themed opening on Saturday 20th July.”

To donate any unwanted school uniforms and activity items, please call Caroline or Rachel on 07968 802824 or deposit in store, which is located at the unit next to Ditsch adjacent to Vodafone, nearby to the County Court entrance.

Cumbria Learners First To Complete E-Learning Course

An administration co-ordinator in children’s services at the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is among one of the first to complete a Level 4 NVQ through a learning assistant e-portfolio with Training 2000.
Twenty-nine-year-old Anna Penrose, from Carlisle, along with 5 other learners, completed their Diploma in Business and Administration Level 4 qualification by submitting evidence using an online e-portfolio that helps providers to deliver vocational qualifications more effectively.

Anna decided to study for a Level 4 NVQ in Business and Administration through her employer last year after spotting an advert in the staff magazine.

She says the experience has helped her to understand her role, improved her line management skills and helped her to solve problems more quickly and efficiently.

“This qualification has made me more aware of the work I do and made me think differently about my role and how I interact with colleagues,” she says. “The course really honed in on my problem-solving skills and this is an important part of my job.”

“I enjoyed the process and found it very easy to upload evidence to the Learning Assistant program and cross-reference the modules,” she says. “The assessors were very easy to contact and made the whole process very enjoyable and seamless.

“I had started NVQs in the past where the process was paper-based and I found it very arduous and too much work on top of my job. This model was very straightforward and the whole process was very well done.”

Lyn Moore, Anna’s line manager, is delighted with her development since she completed the course. “Anna is a star,” she says. “She has really developed her skills and is much more autonomous than she was before.

“She has put new systems in place to work with staff more efficiently and her ability to work through a problem is much stronger. I am really pleased with the progress she has made.”

Lyn says on-the-job training is becoming increasingly important to the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust as pressure grows for hospitals to work more efficiently.

“The demands on our hospitals are ever-increasing and our support services underpin that,” she says. “By improving our performance management and streamlining our systems we can provide more consistency and efficiency.”

Anna is now planning to develop her skills further by studying for an NVQ Level 5 in Management. “The course helped to prepare me for the Level 5 qualification and I feel ready to take on the challenges that this course will bring,” she says.

“Some of the modules from my Level 4 NVQ can also be used as evidence for aspects of my Level 5, which will be very beneficial.”

New Scaffolding Apprenticeship Holds Promise For A Bright Future

Blackburn-based Training 2000 has added another course to its growing range of qualifications.

The Scaffolding Apprenticeship delivered at Level 2 is now available, providing an excellent route of obtaining foundation knowledge and progressing through to Scaffolder status.

Delivered to Apprentices who are employed by a scaffolding company. The Apprenticeship covers the safe erection and dismantling of basic scaffold structures as well as the correct use of a harness, fall prevention methods, taught about manual handling and safe working practices in the construction industry just to name a few of the key elements. They also achieve Maths and English at Level 1.

Once they have completed the Apprenticeship they will be able to pursue a career as Scaffolders with industry recognised status and a wide range of opportunities within the sector enabling them to work to their strengths and interests.

The Apprenticeship programme and Scaffolding Department is managed by Alan Winward, who has more than 40 years’ experience in the industry across a range of sectors, including power and petrochemicals.

Alan, has worked in the UK, Europe and the Middle East and is an experienced manager with a wealth of knowledge and expertise.

He said: “I’m looking forward to working with these young people. It’s a bit like sowing seeds when you pass on knowledge – you give them the fundamentals and then watch them develop and work their way up to the next level.

“Scaffolding is a wonderful profession to be in and I’d imagine, with the pressure to find extra power from somewhere, its expected there’ll be a lot of work for scaffolders in the North West at Heysham and Sellafield. Scaffolding is a service trade and other services rely on us to provide safe access; without Scaffolders they couldn’t do their jobs.”

This new course comes at a time when there is likely to be an increase in demand not just for scaffolders in general, but for those who have received thorough training and achieved recognised qualifications.

This is due, in part, to the Government’s creation of a £570m Get Britain Building investment fund for developers aimed at boosting the number of new homes built in 2013. The Government has also promised to help people who cannot afford to buy a home because they don’t have the deposit.

Overall this means that up to 50,000 homes could be built in the coming year to help address the growing accommodation shortage in the UK.

This will be of huge benefit to the construction industry, which was hard hit by the global credit crunch of 2008 and saw just 115,000 new homes completed in England 2009/2010, fewer than any in any year in peace time since the 1920s.

Steve Gray, chief executive at Training 2000, said: “The Government’s commitment to providing new housing in 2013 and subsequent years is great news for these apprentices.

“Not only will they swell the workforce at a time when their skills will be in high demand, but they will also be well trained and qualified to deliver a really professional service.”

The Duke Of York Visits Training 2000

HRH The Duke of York, KG, visited Training 2000 to recognise the growing number of Apprenticeships the centre offers and support the development of a University Technical College (UTC) in Burnley.

His Royal Highness visited Training 2000 as part of his continued focus on promoting institutions that support Apprenticeship programmes and the development of employability skills.

The Duke of York was taken on a tour of the state-of-the-art facilities on Friday 30 November and was shown around the engineering and automotive workshops and the dental surgery where he met with staff and apprentices.

Eighteen year-old catering apprentice, Kara Gray, and 17 year-old business administration apprentice, Laura Heaven, had the opportunity of a lifetime when they got the chance to meet His Royal Highness during his visit.

Laura said: “I was delighted to meet with The Duke of York and I enjoyed talking to him about what we do at Training 2000.”

Chief executive at Training 2000, Steve Gray, said it was fantastic that His Royal Highness had an active interest in Apprenticeships and had taken time out of his busy schedule to visit and to meet with the employers and apprentices.

“We are thrilled that The Duke of York could join us today and celebrate the growing number of Apprenticeships at Training 2000, especially in the engineering sector,” said Steve.

“Our facilities and the support that we, as a Group Training Association, provide to our learners and employers are the things that we are most proud of and to be able to showcase this to His Royal Highness is wonderful.”

Before moving onto other engagements, The Duke of York also heard about the Visions Leaning Trust (VLT), a UTC being led by Training 2000, which will be opening in Burnley in August 2013