EMPLOYER AMBASSADORS

CATHIE KESSELL

Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership is private sector-led and in partnership with public sector its role is to drive the economic strategy for the area, determining priorities and undertaking activities to drive growth and create meaningful, well paid local jobs.  Our Employment and Skills Strategy acknowledges the importance of Apprenticeships in growing and developing our local workforce to meet current and future skills demands.

I’m passionate about the benefits Apprenticeships can bring to both individuals and employers, having spent the last 15 years or so working within Apprenticeships.  I’ve not only worked on the funding and policy of Apprenticeships but also directly with employers, careers advisers, schools, individuals and Apprenticeship providers.  Currently employed by the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, working as their Employment and Apprenticeships Officer with a role to support delivery of the Employment and Skills Strategy for Cornwall & Isles of Scilly. 

MAURICE PHILIP PORTER

My name is Maurice Porter I am Group Training Manager for Hepco Slide Systems Ltd a world-leading manufacturer of linear motion systems.

Hepco prides itself in providing a highly regarded apprenticeship scheme and we have employed four to five apprentices every year for the past twenty years because we know apprentices are the lifeblood of our organisation.

I highly value apprenticeships as a way of recruiting important people who can go on to work in various departments of our business. I strongly believe apprenticeships help to bridge the skills gap".

I joined the South West of England Apprenticeship Ambassadors Network (SWAAN) to meet with like-minded professionals to promote the uptake of Apprenticeships.

I develop world class apprentices but I enjoy passionately inspiring all employees to progress, reach their full potential improving culture and retention.

CHRIS ALLEN

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.

Apprentices are 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.

I’m an Apprentice Ambassador because I believe apprentices help any business evolve and remain successful.  Apprentices bring new cultural and technical perspectives that add to traditional skills, quality and values.

CAROLINE ROWLES

Hargreaves Lansdown is the UK’s number 1 ‘investment supermarket’ for private investors.  Hargreaves Lansdown is a secure, FTSE 100 company. We are a successful and growing business based in the heart of the vibrant City of Bristol.

In 2016 we took on our first 6 Apprentices, and the scheme has gone from strength to strength since then. Apprenticeships are now a critical part of our people strategy, ensuring we have the capability to continue to grow at pace. We are really enjoying seeing the deference we make by providing people from all backgrounds the opportunity to develop their skills in careers they will thrive in.

When starting in my role I had no previous experience of Apprenticeships and needed to learn quickly. I joined the Apprenticeship Ambassadors Network and learnt from others that had years of experience. I now continue to learn from the network and share my experiences with other to support their Apprenticeship journey. Our Apprentices have gained a huge amount from being part of the Young Apprenticeship Ambassadors Network from presenting in schools to attending the South West Apprenticeship Graduation. I would highly recommend becoming part of it.

MICHAEL GREEN

HR Professional and Ex Royal Marine, Director of Endorse HR, and Cartridges Business Hub, Chair of Exeter Federation of Small Businesses [FSB].  Mick has been running his own successful HR consultancy business for over 6 years as well as helping other businesses start, grow or take a new direction in his role with Cartridges Business Hub.

As an HR consultant he often advises on the positive aspects of engaging an apprentice in numerous small businesses. With his FSB hat on he represent the voice of small businesses at Apprentice Ambassador events and other forums shaping the strategic direction of apprenticeships.

MAC MCMASTER

All Royal Marine Recruits have the opportunity to undertake the HM Forces Service Persons (Public Services) Apprenticeship a Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship, the first step on the Royal Marines Training Development Pathway.

It is Service policy that opportunities to gain nationally recognised civilian qualifications through the accreditation of education, training and experience is provided.

 

When starting an apprenticeship in the Royal Marines, its right at the beginning of an all around the world adventure. Being a valuable member of the team from the very first day of joining, learning on the job, making a vital contribution and earning a competitive wage from day one and receiving world-class training will mean all the transferable skills needed to succeed are available.
 

I’m an Apprentice Ambassador because I want to have the opportunity to influence of the value of apprenticeships within the military and civilian workplace.

NIKKI PRYKE

The Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust is the main provider of acute and specialist care services in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. It serves a population of around 430,000 people, a figure that can increase significantly with visitors during the busiest times of the year. The Trust employs approximately 5,000 staff and has a budget of approximately £380 million.

As a large employer Apprenticeships are integral to the development of both new and existing employees. With over 335 careers on offer within the NHS there are lots of opportunities for us to utilise apprenticeships for both clinical and non-clinical roles. As an employer provider we are able to deliver some Apprenticeships in- house using the excellent facilities within our Knowledge Spa.

I am passionate about Apprenticeships and the value they bring to both the individual and the organisation and I am delighted to be an Apprentice Ambassador.

JAKE MCCLURE

I have been involved in education, training and capability throughout my career. I firmly believe that organisations large and small need a diverse pipeline of talent of all ages and from all walks of life. I’ve worked for the British Council in five countries, led criminal justice reform programmes in England and Northern Ireland, worked as an independent inspector of borders and immigration, an advisor in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and delivered large-scale capability changes for public sector operations across government. I was also lucky enough to head up cross-government apprenticeship strategy and delivery, before joining the City & Guilds Group (on a secondment) as Strategy Director. I will be returning to the Civil Service in 2019, where I will continue to champion apprenticeships as a critical enabler to up-skill and reskill, for young people, career changers and returners. I am also an Enterprise Adviser at KEVICC in Totnes.

BECCA THURSTON

Wessex Water has a strong history in apprenticeships and employs apprentices working in a variety of departments; from engineering and construction apprentices to laboratory technicians and customer service advisers. Offering opportunities for both new staff and existing staff to develop skills and knowledge through apprenticeships is key to our skills growth strategy. Evidence has shown that our apprentices remain with us, and become some of our most valued staff, at all levels across the business. 

 

With almost 20 years experience in the apprenticeship, access to employment and talent development arena Becca knows that education never stands still, the drivers for talent change and actual skills are always in short supply! She is a firm believer that the solution to our skills gaps and demands is a strong and effective partnership between education and industry, and apprenticeships can be at the core of the solution.

RACHAEL JOHNSON

Wiltshire Council believes in growing its workforce by training and investing in skills; this is why we have our own apprenticeship programme. We assess new vacancies as they arise to identify if the role could be suitable and recruited as an apprenticeship. In addition, there are programmes available for existing employees to develop their skills around leadership and management, with additional programmes in the pipeline.

 

I feel my role as an Employment and Skills Officer is unique as in addition to working closely with our internal teams I also engage with business across Wiltshire and the wider Local Enterprise Partnership to promote apprenticeships and raise awareness of funding and providers. I also maintain the dedicated apprenticeship pages on our Work Wiltshire website which contain many local case studies and resources.

 

Apprenticeships are a great combination of all the other options; employment, training, pay and experience!

EMMA PORTMAN

I have worked for Renishaw since 2009 and started to work with Software Apprentices in 2013. It’s been an amazing experience watching the apprentices grow and rapidly become effective members of staff who are relied on to help solve complex engineering problems. More recently I’ve taken over all of the Apprentice and Graduate programmes within Renishaw and we aim to provide the best experience the apprentices can have at the start of their careers.

Renishaw is one of the world's leading engineering and scientific technology companies, with expertise in precision measurement and healthcare. We supply products and services used in applications as diverse as jet engine and wind turbine manufacture, through to dentistry and brain surgery.

The Renishaw Group currently has more than 70 offices in 36 countries, with over 4,500 employees worldwide. Around 3,000 people are employed within the UK where we carry out the majority of our research and development and our manufacturing.

JO FELLOWS

Devon County Council has run an apprenticeship programme for some time and the introduction of the reforms has given us a great opportunity to develop our offer further. We’re making great progress in increasing our numbers and have real buy-in from senior leaders. We’re also widening participation, for example for young people with learning disabilities and those who have been in care. We recognise that we still have lots to do and being part of the AAN helps us to share learning with other like-minded employers, whilst also selling the benefits to others. With continuing recruitment and retention challenges it’s becoming even more critical to ‘grow our own’ workforce and apprenticeships play a key part in this. I’m proud to be a member of AAN and to support some of our current apprentices as YAANs – seeing them grow in confidence and inspire other people to become apprentices is really rewarding!

EMMA COX

Thatchers Cider recognised the need to grow its pool of talent to secure business growth.  In 2017, it launched its Young Talent Programme to engage with local schools and colleges and highlight opportunities at the company.  As an Ambassador we are proud to support other employers, share good practice and celebrate the success of apprenticeships.

CHRIS YOUNG

Having worked for a number of years in Further Education (FE), I joined EDF Energy and the Hinkley Point C project in the role of Apprenticeship & Skills Lead in October 2016. My years working in FE is where my involvement and passion for apprenticeships, alongside the development of people has its foundations, and I am committed to continuing that as a member of the Apprenticeship Ambassador Network. 

 

It’s extremely important to me that there is a collective effort to not only raise the profile of apprenticeships, but also the numerous range of opportunities and benefits they provide for both individuals and businesses, as the value that a quality apprenticeship brings to an organisation can sometimes be underestimated. As part of the construction of Hinkley Point C, we aim to facilitate 1,000 apprenticeships during construction. It is a vital part of the longer-term legacy the project will leave and is part of a holistic pipeline through which people can access the skills required to support both the HPC project, as well as future Nuclear New Build programmes. 

NIGEL FENN

Nigel joined South West Water in 1996 and has undertaken a variety of roles in IT, Operations, Corporate Services and within Organisational and Employee Development.  Nigel is now Head of HR Planning and Performance and is part of the team overseeing the introduction of shared services across Pennon Group for South West Water, Viridor and Bournemouth Water.

He is the Chair of the South West Apprenticeship Ambassador Network which is a group of c80 private and public sector employers who champion apprenticeships across the region.  He also heads the Education group for the new South Devon University Technical College and sits on both the Operations Board and the Independent Quality Board at EUSkills, the sector skills council for utilities in the UK.

‘I am so proud to represent the South West Region with our diverse membership of employer and young ambassadors. Championing the apprenticeship ethos is part of our DNA and we strive to raise awareness, share good practice and engage with employers new to such an excellent vocational pathway’

JONATHAN CRESSWELL

I embed Professional Development apprenticeship programmes for new and existing staff ensuring that the University maximises 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”.

 

I am an active member of the South West Apprenticeship Ambassador Network and an Apprenticeship Champion.

BERNICE BRITTON

South Gloucestershire Council serves an estimated population of 279,000 residents. We aim to achieve the best for our residents ensuring South Gloucestershire will always be ‘a great place to live and work.’

 

We benefit from having apprentices to bridge the skills gap in many areas of the business we struggle to recruit.  Line managers are encouraged to ‘think apprentice’ when recruiting to meet the future business need. 

 

Apprentices bring us fresh thinking and challenge too many teams which helps long term staff to undertake new ways of working and take on new approaches. 

 

I am passionate about apprenticeships, being an ambassador makes it possible for me to promote these opportunities.  I meet and support local SME’s to access apprenticeships, providing advice and guidance on recruiting an apprentice, the benefits, training, costs and linking with training providers.  This has helped to break down barriers that apprenticeships are not feasible for them. 

GRAEME PRATT

I started overseeing our Apprenticeships programme last year, and since then have seen a group of motivated and inspirational learners work towards the completion of their programmes.  We have been able to give them access to technical skills we wouldn’t have been able to support historically, and the business will see the benefits as a result. 

 

I became an Ambassador because I genuinely believe that Apprenticeships offer something new, of real value, and with the potential to create a more talented and diverse workforce.

CAROLYN MAGGS

I have worked in education and employability for a number of years and have
always engaged with business to help develop skills in young people and adults.


Apprenticeships are an important route for young people and adults looking to
develop and progress their careers. Raising the profile of apprenticeships with
schools, parents and employers is vital. To achieve this we need to raise
awareness with young people and their parents that apprenticeships are a valid
and valuable route for training, alongside demonstrating the benefits to
businesses of using apprenticeships to grow their own talent and develop their
staff.


During my time as an Apprenticeship Ambassador I have seen the network grow
to be an active and vibrant group. This is reflected in the development of the
Young Apprenticeship Ambassador Network (YAAN), whose membership tells me
our future is in good hands.

MARK PENTELOW

I am an Associate Director at RSM and based in our Swindon office. RSM is a leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services to middle market leaders, globally.

 

As an integrated team, we share skills, insight and resources, as well as a client-centric, collaborative approach that’s based on a deep understanding of our clients’ businesses.


I am passionate about the Apprenticeships Ambassador Network and the value they bring to the individual, the business, and the network of Ambassadors. This network provides us with the opportunity to highlight the benefits of Apprenticeships within the professional services industry.

CAROLINE MILNER

Combe Pafford, is a special school with 127 employees in Torquay. We currently employ 10 Intermediate, Advanced and Higher Apprentices in a variety of disciplines including Hospitality and ICT.


We are strongly committed to offering our apprentices a range of experiences and encourage them to develop new skills and access training to enhance their employability in the future. We are proactive in supporting apprentices who have additional needs.
Our ethos to promote apprenticeships is an integral part of our organisation’s culture. We see our apprentices as good role models for our SEN pupils; raising aspiration and showing them that employment is achievable.


We measure our success by looking at the individual's journey and ultimately their progress to employment/further or higher level training with us or another employer/training provider.

LIANNE ONSLOW

The Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust now has nearly 300 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.


I am incredibly proud to be an Apprenticeship Ambassador, singing the praises of apprenticeships across the organisation and beyond! I 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.

EMMA TATE

Sweet Construct is a third generation, family-owned construction firm located just south of Bristol. As a main contractor, we provide a total package from design to completion, demonstrating expertise and high-quality delivery.


Our people are our greatest asset and we greatly value our apprentices. They represent the next generation of employees across a widely ageing industry, but also demonstrate a great work ethic, are enthusiastic to learn, self-motivated and ambitious – usually to progress on to the next level!


We wanted to become an apprentice ambassador employer because of the natural fit with the work that we are doing already. We have hired a dedicated Early Careers and Apprenticeships Lead to drive forward our ambitious programme across the business, our apprentices go out to schools, we work proactively with the CITB and strive to be a first-choice employer for the best students in the region by also offering work placements with the intention of enabling learners to remain with us as a new apprentice on completion of their course.

IAN CARLSON

Financial experts Old Mill work at the cutting edge of Accounting and Wealth Management, across a wide range of sectors, with a broad client portfolio, a diverse mix of individuals and a commitment to nurturing and celebrating our talent in the business.


Our clients are ambitious, energetic businesses and individuals. The key to providing them with outstanding service is to recruit and retain fantastic people with the same energy and ambition – which is where the Apprenticeships scheme helps us immensely.


At any point in time up to one third of those employed in Old Mill are working towards a professional qualification, with our Apprentices making up a significant part of this number. Our trainees represent the future of Old Mill, which is why we are delighted to support the Apprenticeships scheme, and to be part of the Ambassador network.

ROSIE BATES

Exeter City Council is committed to supporting skills development across the residents and workforce of Exeter. We have been employing apprentices in the organisation for a number of years, offering a variety of opportunities in different roles, including HR, the Corn Exchange and Data Analytics.

We recognise the value of apprenticeships, not only to our own organisation, but to businesses across the city, developing and retaining talent, opening up opportunities and promoting continuous learning and development.


I am proud to be an ambassador and consider apprenticeships to be a vital tool in enabling people at all levels and ages to access employment opportunities continue education and learning. The network is invaluable in supporting us all to spread the message about Apprenticeships and keep up to date with developments and best practice.

CAROLINE NOON

The National Trust is the UKs largest conservation charity, is the 2nd largest landowner in the UK (after the Queen) and as a consequence own and protect 780 miles of coastline, look after over 500 properties and even protect 9 lighthouses.

 

The apprenticeship programme has grown from 7 in 2016, to over a 100 in 2020 across 34 routes and over 64 locations.  Although the Trust was severely impacted by the coronavirus crisis in 2020, we are still hoping to expand the offering to more job families and locations as part of our recovery moving into 2021 and beyond. 

In my role as Apprenticeship Manager, I am passionate about creating apprenticeship opportunities, having worked in learning development for over 15 years before focussing in this exciting area.  I enjoy working and networking with both internal stakeholders, external organisations and training providers and collaborating with other organisations and recognised bodies to craft new apprenticeship standards through trailblazing where needed.

TWITTER

MENU

FACEBOOK

  • Twitter
  • White Instagram Icon
  • Facebook
  • White LinkedIn Icon
  • YouTube