Babcock International Group is the UK’s market-leading engineering support services company, delivering complex and critical asset support both in the UK and overseas. We manage vital assets within a number of industry sectors including defence, emergency services, energy, transport, telecommunications and education.

We are an Apprenticeships Ambassador because we believe apprentices help any business evolve and remain successful. They bring new cultural and technical perspectives that add to traditional skills, quality and values. Apprentices are therefore a key part of maintaining and developing Babcock’s business capability. It is essential that the company’s current highly-skilled employees are able to pass on their expertise and often unique skills to ensure that Babcock can continue to provide the support its customers expect. This helps the company to evolve to meet modern business demands whilst ensuring that the standards its reputation has been built upon are not diluted.

At Bishop Fleming, we deliver accounting, tax and advisory services to businesses and individuals. We are now also an employer-provider and so able to offer a completely bespoke apprenticeship to our trainee accountants and business advisers to enable the firm to grow well-rounded talent and deliver a high quality apprenticeship experience.

We are immensly proud of our unique apprenticeship programme and in September 2020 we recruited a record number of school-leavers who turned down university offers to join our LaunchPad scheme, undeterred by the ongoing global pandemic. As well as studying for professional qualifications, our apprentices have the opportunity to carry out training at clients’ premises, to understand the daily challenges businesses face – as well as the technical ones. All trainees are pursuing qualifications from the Institution of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and we have gained a new status as ‘Partner in Learning’ with the ICAEW.

We are Apprenticeship Ambassadors because we believe in the power of work-based learning, we want to give bright young people a viable alternative to university, and because it helps us to deliver training that is exactly what we need, when we need it.

Combe Pafford is a special school in Torquay, Devon, employing ten Intermediate, Advanced and Higher Apprentices in a variety of disciplines including Hospitality, Learning/Work Placement Support, Premises, Animal Care, Administration and ICT.

We are strongly committed to providing a high quality apprenticeship experience and so offer our apprentices a range of opportunities and encourage them to develop new skills and access training to enhance their employability in the future. We are also proactive in supporting apprentices who have additional needs and we measure our success by looking at the individual’s journey and ultimately their progress to employment/further or higher level training whether with us or elsewhere. In 2020, we were proud to be Regional Winner of the National Apprenticeship Awards for SME Employer of the Year and Regionally Highly Commended for Recruitment Excellence.

We became SWAAN Ambassadors as our ethos is to promote apprenticeships as an integral part of our organisation’s culture and we see our apprentices as good role models for our SEN pupils; raising aspiration and showing them that employment is achievable.

Devon County Council offers apprenticeships to new recruits and existing staff. We are particularly keen to ensure that apprenticeships are available to a wide range of people, whatever their background or circumstance, and we are currently working with care experienced young people, to open up apprenticeship opportunities to them, as part of our Step Forward employability programme for care leavers aged 16-25.

Apprenticeships help us with recruitment, retention and development and we have strong internal support from our Councillors and managers and some great success stories from those staff who have undertaken apprenticeships! It is also really important to have young people promoting apprenticeships to other young people and therefore we actively support SW-AAN, the Young Apprenticeship Ambassador Network, with one of our Apprenticeship Advisors, Amy Kyme, who is the current Chair in the South West region.

Gregory Distribution is committed to our group ethos – Delivering Winners. We aim to provide our customers with the highest quality service at all times – handling, storing and distributing products in the most efficient, effective and safe manner. Everything we do is driven by a business-wide culture of continuous improvement and we pride ourselves on our ability to generate creative operational solutions supported by the innovative use of modern business systems and technology.

Distribution is a rapidly developing sector and we are committed to offering a range of opportunities to new drivers across the region and beyond. The key to our success in training new drivers is the Apprentice Driver Programme delivering with a blend on in-house training and working in partnership with training organisations and local colleges.

We joined SWAAN to benefit from networking opportunities with other Apprenticeship Ambassadors, and the latest apprenticeship information in a weekly e-news bulletin.

We are a world-leading manufacturer of linear motion systems and pride ourselves in providing a highly regarded apprenticeship scheme.

We have employed four to five apprentices every year for the past twenty years because we know apprentices are the lifeblood of our organisation and we highly value apprenticeships as a way of recruiting important people who can go on to work in various departments of our business. We strongly believe apprenticeships help to bridge the skills gap and enjoy passionately inspiring all employees to progress and reach their full potential, improving culture and retention.

​As a business, we joined the South West of England Apprenticeship Ambassadors Network (SWAAN) to meet with like-minded professionals to promote the uptake of Apprenticeships.

LiveWest provide almost 38,000 homes to over 80,000 people throughout the South West. Through the stability of good housing, we place better living for better lives at the centre of our mission and believe in a home for everyone.

We have built a successful talent pipeline through our apprenticeship programme and it is very rewarding to watch our colleagues progress within the organisation. Our apprentices are of all ages and from all backgrounds and bring fresh ideas to our organisation. It is a joy to working alongside them.

SWAAN provides a great source of apprenticeship information and support. Everyone on the network are keen to share their ideas and best practice.

The Met Office is the national meteorological service for the UK, providing critical weather services and world-leading climate science, helping you make better decisions to stay safe and thrive. We deliver our services through exceptional scientific, technological and operational expertise. To make a real difference, we need the very best people and a culture to match.

Apprenticeships at the Met Office are a vital part of ensuring we develop talent for the future to see things through fresh eyes and drive forward innovation at the Met Office.

We are an Apprenticeships Ambassador because we are passionate about the opportunity and value apprenticeships offer to individuals as well as employers.

Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (NDHT) provides integrated acute and community health and care services across northern Devon together with a range of specialist community services across Devon and Cornwall. We have 3,543 staff delivering services across a wide geographical and physical location, including in people’s homes, clinics, our five community hospitals and our acute district general hospital – North Devon District Hospital (NDDH).

Last year was a tough year for everyone. Despite COVID-19 we still managed to support 77 apprentices across the Trust. We currently have 146 apprentices and achieved 2.2% of the workforce being apprentices. Our Trust has always been very keen on supporting staff progression and apprenticeships are a way of building our future workforce to meet the needs of our service.

We are proud to be Apprenticeships Ambassadors and have benefited from being a member of the Network in the South West by sharing knowledge across many sectors and by learning from experiences.

At Princess Yachts, inspiring people to achieve is at the heart of what we do. We’ve built our success on the skills and abilities of our people, and that is why we invest so much time and effort in our apprenticeship programmes. Due to skills shortages with local/national populations, we started the apprenticeship scheme in 1997 and now recruit apprentices annually. Over 80% of our yachts are hand-crafted with an aging workforce and so we need to ensure that the business continues to not only be fit for now, but fit for the future.

Apprenticeships are key to ensuring our continued business success. We joined SWAAN, the Apprenticeship Ambassadors Network, to learn and share best practice with other local businesses.

The Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust has apprentices across a range of sectors and levels. Although our apprentices are all at different points in their careers, of differing ages and previous experiences, they are all enjoying the amazing opportunities that an apprenticeship can bring.

Apprenticeships can be the first step into a long-term NHS career, enable an existing staff member to embrace lifelong learning, or aid the Trust to deliver outstanding patient care through supporting recruitment into hard-to-fill roles.

We are incredibly proud to be an Apprenticeships Ambassador, singing the praises of apprenticeships across the organisation and beyond! We strive to promote apprenticeships as a way of widening access to careers within the NHS and enabling staff, whether new or experienced, to reach their full potential.

The Rural Payments Agency is an Executive Agency of the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra). We are an organisation committed to world class farming and land management for the environment, food, and rural resilience and our work helps agricultural and rural communities to create a better place to live. We achieve this through delivering economic growth, delivering environmental sustainability, supporting agriculture, enabling innovation and facilitating community activities.

Our Apprentices are key to us achieving our purpose and provide a diverse pipeline of talent of all ages and from all walks of life.

South West Water provides reliable, efficient and high quality drinking water and waste water services throughout Cornwall, Devon, and parts of Somerset and Dorset. Our aim is to continually drive up standards and be amongst the best in the water industry. We believe that by investing in the future of our region, we are not only improving the quality of life for today’s residents and visitors but are also taking responsibility for future generations.

Since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in 2017, we have fully funded over 400 apprenticeships in a wide variety of roles and now have 140 current apprentices, recently committing to offer 500 new apprenticeships in the next five years. In November 2020, we also became the first company in the South West, and the first water company, to support 50 placements through the Government’s Kickstart programme, designed to improve social mobility. And we have also uniquely announced a further incentive of a £500 bonus for each person who completes a placement in addition to comprehensive training and support.

Along with our parent company, Pennon Group, we are extremely proud to be a SWAAN Apprenticeships Ambassador.

At the University of Exeter we have embed Professional Development apprenticeship programmes for new and existing staff ensuring that we maximise the benefit of Apprenticeships and the Apprenticeship Levy in support of our Attract, Perform, Retain People Strategy.

Apprenticeships are about new skills, not just new people, and embrace a culture of innovation and continuous improvement. High quality training, through approved training providers, ensures that new and existing staff have the skills, knowledge and behaviours necessary to succeed and develop in their role. We are an active member of the South West Apprenticeships Ambassador Network and proud to be an Apprenticeships Ambassador.