College on to a winner with its office apprentice

31st July 2009 at 01:00

Colleges' efforts to increase the number of apprentices they employ have been rewarded with their first Apprenticeship Award.

Sinead Smith, who has worked since 2006 in business administration at Gloucester College, has been named as Apprentice of the Year. This is the first time in the awards' six-year history that a college employee has won.

The 19-year-old, studying for an advanced apprenticeship after completing her level 2 qualification, said: "It was difficult when I was 16. My friends came to college as students, and I had to be mature when I was working and I would see my friends laughing together.

"But most of my friends are in college full-time, so they just get education maintenance allowance or have a part-time job, while I'm working here, improving my confidence and learning new skills."

She said she was surprised with the level of responsibility she had been given by the college, even training other members of staff.

Sylvia Bullock, director of business and workplace development at the college, said that having their own apprentices on staff made it easier to sell the benefits of apprenticeships to other employers.

Colleges have set themselves a target of employing 1,500 apprentices by next year to play their part in efforts to raise the numbers of public sector apprenticeships. A survey suggested that 78 per cent of colleges employ apprentices.

This week, the Government urged employers to back a national campaign to give young people jobs, training and work experience. The Backing Young Britain campaign includes internships for graduates and non-graduates, including 10,000 places for 18- to 21-year-olds who have not been to university.

The initiative - involving the departments for business, innovation and skills; children, schools and families; and work and pensions - also announced the first 47,000 jobs for young people supported by the Pounds 1 billion Future Jobs Fund.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now