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22 APPRENTICESHIPS


RAISING THE PROFILE BY DEGREES PANEL 3: APPRENTICESHIPS FOR ALL PEOPLE, ALL LEVELS


Tony Openshaw


 Lancashire, University of Central Lancashire


Claire Shore senior business


development manager at Blackburn College


Linzi Monks


head of apprenticeships and employer engagement at Preston’s College


Lisa Sourbutts


managing director of Cube HR


Oliver Burton


CEO of Forbes Solicitors


  Lancashire, the conference heard.


Linzi Monks, head of apprenticeships and employer engagement at Preston’s College, told the online audience that not enough conversations were taking place about the whole range and levels of apprenticeships now available.


She said: “Apprenticeships are for everybody” and the key to success was employers, providers and apprentices working together.


 University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), agreed there was still a message to get out to sectors such as professional services about the relatively new degree apprenticeships.


He said: “You can do your MA or MBA at level seven or your BA or BSc at level six. That has really opened up this whole world of apprenticeships.


“There is a whole pathway and you can take people up from level two, which is the GCSE equivalent, right to the top.”


Tony added that Lancashire would need more digital skills as it looked to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.


He said: “Where business need to transform and grow, apprenticeships are a great way of bringing in not just new talent but investing in your existing staff and upskilling them so they can meet these new challenges.”


He also told the conference that he would like to see a “renewed focus on lifelong learning”.


Lisa Sourbutts, managing director of Cube HR, revealed she was currently a degree apprentice, studying at level seven at UCLan, and she added: “There is not enough talk about the level seven opportunities that are available.”


She said that a record number of new businesses were being  learn some of the skills needed for their enterprises to succeed.


Oliver Burton, chief executive of Forbes Solicitors, said the  apprenticeship system and was using it to develop its staff.


Where it has worked really well is investing in our existing staff


Its apprenticeships ranged from team leaders and paralegals right up 


He said: “Where it has worked really well is investing in our existing staff, people who are already committed to us and are already learning the ‘Forbes way’. We’re investing and developing our own.”


Oliver said he believed more work was needed to make apprenticeships more accepted as part of the education mix.


Claire Shore, senior business development manager at Blackburn College, said the way to upskill the county was through a partnership of talent, opportunity and expertise.


She said: “We are starting to hear businesses leaders saying they are undertaking an apprenticeship at senior strategic level and that starts a conversation.”


Claire added that apprenticeships had “an impact” on recruitment and retention within a business saying: “There is also a real  supporting apprentices.”


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