West Notts College holds high-profile event at House Of Commons on apprenticeships

Government minister Anne Milton (right) and college principal Dame Asha Khemka (second right) at the event with Lord Patel of Bradford and Wayne Clarke (left), founding partner of GGI. (PHOTO BY: Richard Edwards).

Employers recruiting more apprentices is key to tackling the nation’s skills shortages, it was claimed at a high-profile event staged by a Mansfield college.

The message was delivered by the government’s apprenticeships and skills minister Anne Milton at the event, which was held at the House Of Commons by West Notts College to mark the first six months of apprenticeship reform.

The college joined forces with the Global Growth Institute (GGI) to review the impact of the government’s new apprenticeship levy for employers, which should help to fund an additional three million apprentices by 2020.

“The solution to increase skills in this country lies in the hands of employers,” said Ms Milton. “The feedback I’ve had from business, training providers and apprentices is that we’re going in the right direction.

“The government needs to give businesses the support it can. We need to make sure we keep listening to you.”.

Dame Asha Khemka, principal and chief executive of the college, described the drive to create more apprentices and increase vocational skills as “a momentous time in the history of our nation”. But she insisted that quicker progress was needed and that all interested parties must work together.

The event was hosted by Professor Lord Patel of Bradford, who brought together senior government figures, policy-makers, representatives from the education and skills sector and bosses from some of the country’s largest employers.

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