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Attracting and growing talent through apprenticeships

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Posted by APM on 25th Feb 2013

On Wednesday 13th February Milton Keynes College hosted an Institute of Directors event on the role of apprenticeships in growing the economy. Dr Peter Parkes from the IoD introduced the speakers, starting with the Principal of the College, Dr Julie Mills, who stated that the college provided a broad offering to meet the educational and training needs of the region.

The college has over 20,000 students and provides services to over 600 businesses. The ability to 'earn & learn' through a wide range of apprenticeships, from management level 1 through to Higher Apprenticeships at level 4, with the potential to continue on to degree level, was widely appealing to students as well as employers. Dr Mills announced a new addition to the stable with the launch of the Higher Apprenticeship for Project Management through the college from April.

Darren Jaundrill from Network Rail followed on to describe their 4B a year investment programme delivered through projects. We saw one of these investment projects with the centralisation to the new Network Rail HQ in MK, bringing in 3,000 jobs. He saw their apprenticeship programme, currently supporting over 200 placements a year and attracting over 10,000 applications, as essential to develop the national skill base. He said that Network Rail are passionate about professional development, from Apprenticeship to Fellowship, since it is through attracting fresh talent that they are able to nurture future leaders.

Nat Morosoli from Princes Risborough based professional body the Association for Project Management followed on to describe the recently approved Higher Apprenticeship for Project Management. As well as the usual technical competences for project management, from planning to risk management, the qualification also has mandatory requirements for behavioural competences in communications, stakeholder management, and leadership, which were seen as essential by the steering committee of corporate members. Generous grants are available, but Nat stressed that this prestigious qualification should be used to attract and grow talent, with the first companies to adopt the qualification attracting thousands of high quality applications.

Chris Tomlin, Head of Leadership and Business at the college, concluded by giving an overview of apprenticeships offered by the college at different levels before guests were given a tour of the Innovation and Technology Centre, recently refurbished at a cost of 6.3M. A number of quality prizes provided through services at the college were awarded in a draw. For further information on Apprenticeship training contact the college on 01908 637056.

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