Roundtable at JDE focuses on promoting apprenticeships to a wider pool of employers


Two apprentices spoke on the challenges of starting out and how crucial pastoral support and mentorship was

A number of business leaders, charities, training providers and the area’s enterprise partnership have come together to discuss how organisations can work together to promote apprenticeships to a wider pool of employers.

The meeting, which was held at JDE’s Banbury site on Monday, was also attended by Banbury MP Victoria Prentis and the Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, Liz Leffman, alongside local Councillors.

The findings of the roundtable will support the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Social Contract programme, which sees their Skills team providing free support to Levy paying businesses, in return for them transferring unused funds to employers who are keen to access Levy funds to pay for apprenticeship training in Oxfordshire.

JDE has already pledged over £50,000 of their unspent Apprenticeship Levy to support Katherine House Hospice and Hedena Health Centre, providing training for key roles in the NHS and primary education.

Current apprentice Grace Robinson and Ryan Taylor, former apprentice and winner of the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards’ Shining Star, spoke about the challenges of starting as an apprentice, and how crucial pastoral support and mentorship was in helping them to begin their careers and settle into their apprenticeships.

Keith Fisher, Apprenticeship Manager, JDE Banbury, commented: “I’m incredibly proud of our apprentices and it was fantastic to be able to introduce them to so many people and highlight the work they’re doing. Having been at JDE for over 20 years, I’m excited to see how the apprenticeship programme will go from strength to strength as we bring in more people and continue to work with OxLEP, and others, across the region to give people more opportunities.”

Sally Andreou, Skills Hub Manager at OxLEP, said: “Through our Social Contract programme, we’re committed to helping local employers invest in their people, and there’s no better way than an apprenticeship.

“We know that many businesses struggle to do it on their own, which is why we’re proud to be providing a free service to businesses to either unlock or access the apprenticeship Levy, we have also launched the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Grant Scheme, giving people between £1,500 and £3,000 to help remove barriers that would prevent them starting or finishing their scheme.

“We urge more businesses to work together and with us to share their knowledge and promote opportunities across Oxfordshire.”

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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