KEY ISSUE TALENT POOL Jon Graham of JTL, outlines why now is the time to invest in apprenticeships in your workplace. T possibility of earning while they learn with an apprenticeship. As the economy gradually recovers from recession, it’s clear that there are significant gaps in our workforce that need filling now – and that apprenticeships are the best way to fill them. The government has committed to apprenticeships in ever growing numbers to redress this, and with the new Trailblazer funding model for electrical apprenticeships and the apprenticeship levy coming in 2017, it’s clear that apprenticeships are at the forefront of our sector’s and the wider UK business agenda for growth. here has never been a better time to attract new blood into the electrical sector. In the wake of GCSE and A-Level results, a significant number of young people are making important decisions about their futures. Some will have already decided university is not for them, while others may not achieve the exam passes they needed to get into the courses they had hoped to study. Others will have options available and are seeking the right advice and guidance before making the final decision. A growing talent pool Tuition fees and student debt too have made many school leavers think twice about university being the ‘inevitable’ next step in their education. Despite the long term repayment model, the idea of leaving university with what is currently being estimated as more than £45,000 of debt is making school leavers (and their parents or guardians) think far more deeply about their futures. In particular, those who are bright but more practically minded are increasingly attracted to the Expert support Make this your time to take on new apprentices, however you choose to proceed with it. There really is a compelling business case for taking on apprentices at this time. Indeed there’s no better or more cost effective way to get bright young people into your workforce than to train them on the job, with the support of a professional training company behind you to make the recruitment, funding and training process as simple as possible. That’s where we come in. JTL was established more than 25 years ago to serve this sector through the provision of the highest quality work based learning. We now work across England and Wales with more than 6,000 learners and 3,500 employers who know that the apprenticeship route is the right one for them. Over the 25 years we’ve been established, we have provided more than 33,000 qualified apprentices into the workforce. Working with a national provider of our calibre and heritage takes out a huge amount of risk and gives you peace of mind when making such an important business decision. Making it easier You can also be reassured that we will find you the right apprentice. We know how busy you are, so our rigorous selection procedures mean that we can identify the best match for your specific requirement and present you with only the most appropriate candidates for interview. JTL offers a number of value added benefits too – not least the support of a dedicated training officer allocated to each apprentice and employer who has previously been a professional tradesperson themselves to assess their progress. Our apprentices also benefit from high quality tuition materials and free toolkits worth around £250. These are all important factors in explaining why our pass rates are significantly higher, yearin, year-out, than the national average. Expanding our support network We think it’s time to grow our offering even more as the requirement for qualified electricians grows, and we have made major investments in facilities and relationships with others in the sector to make this happen.