Event aims to make apprenticeships more appealing to small businesses

University Campus Aylesbury ValeAylesbury MP David Lidington is part of an event at University Campus Aylesbury Vale on Friday 14 September for businesses to find out how to make the most from apprenticeships.

‘Attracting new talent into your business’ takes place at the campus in Walton Street, Aylesbury, from 9.15am-12pm and focuses on how to best attract a high calibre of young people to work for companies as apprentices.

Organised by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Buckinghamshire College Group and Buckinghamshire Business First it will focus on how to recruit, retain and make best use of apprentices.

The Apprenticeship Levy, which was introduced in April last year, is paid by employers in any sector with a pay bill of more than £3 million per year.

Those employers can use their apprenticeship levy funds to access degree apprenticeships, from higher education like Bucks, to develop their workforce.

Alexander Balicki, Business Development Manager (Apprenticeships) at Bucks New University, said: “Despite the fact the Apprenticeship Levy doesn’t affect small businesses, we are finding they are still reluctant to engage with apprenticeships more.

“Why is this? This event will aim to bust some of the myths around apprenticeships and provide information that might make employing apprentices far more accessible and achievable.

“Throughout the morning we’ll be sharing information on recruiting from the education system, the funding available for small businesses to support this, and how to set up an apprenticeship culture in small businesses.”

Mr Lidington will be speaking about the skills agenda, the government’s Industrial Strategy and apprenticeship opportunities for small and medium sized businesses.

The FSB and Buckinghamshire Business First will be looking to gain an understanding of how small businesses are using apprenticeships, and if they are not, why not, as well as examining what is happening locally in the recruitment and skills market.

Jackie Campbell, Skills Development Manager at Buckinghamshire Skills Hub, which aims to promote and optimise links between employers and educators, will also speak about how to showcase a business to young people and encourage them to sign up for an apprenticeship.

Roundtable discussions will also focus on how best to recruit from the education system; gain Apprenticeship Levy funding support for small businesses; set up an apprenticeship culture in a small business; and identify barriers to attracting and recruiting young people.

Bucks New University, based in High Wycombe, is working with the public and private sector to provide a range of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships which provide a flexible route for employers to access the life-changing opportunities that higher education provides.

For more details about the event email events@bbf.uk.com or go to www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/attracting-new-talent-into-your-business-tickets-48732825192.

For more information about apprenticeships visit www.bucks.ac.uk/apprenticeships or call 01296 744202.

University Campus Aylesbury Vale to provide backdrop to Aylesbury’s first Waterside Festival

University Campus Aylesbury Vale will have front-row seats for Aylesbury’s Waterside Festival, led by Aylesbury Town Centre Partnership, taking place for the first time from 11am-6.30pm on Saturday 8 September.

Waterside Festival will be a celebration of Aylesbury’s canal heritage coming together with its new and exciting developments and will be packed with a boatload of new features and activities.

It takes place in Waterside basin, the canalside public space surrounded by Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, University Campus Aylesbury Vale, Waitrose, and Travelodge.

Ian Harper, Chief Executive of University Campus Aylesbury Vale, said: “We were the final phase of construction completing the Waterside basin and we’re now proud and excited to provide a great backdrop to this eagerly-anticipated community event.

“Students and staff enjoy our location in one of Aylesbury’s most picturesque settings and we’re looking ahead to contributing further to the area’s vibrancy, welcoming more students and providing start-up spaces for small businesses.” For its first year, the event will include an extensive continental market of more than 30 stalls, a floating market, canal trips with ‘The Little Trip Boat’, water-based activity taster sessions, historical heritage walks through the town centre, arts and crafts, face painting, a pieces-of-eight treasure hunt, food tasters, and refreshments.

Lee Duffy, General Manager Aylesbury Waterside Theatre: “We are delighted to be part of the town’s first Waterside Festival. It’s an undiscovered part of Aylesbury which is truly beautiful and deserves to be put in the spotlight. With the line-up of activities planned and goodies that are going to be available to buy at the floating market and on the continental stalls, there is no doubt this will make for a fantastic day out.”

A spokesperson for Roving Canal Traders Association added: “The RCTA is extremely happy to have been asked to organise a Floating Market to be part of Aylesbury’s canal event, Waterside Festival.

“As modern day trading boats have become more popular, the RCTA’s floating markets have continued to grow from strength to strength. Our members are varied, vibrant and immensely talented. We have artists, photographers, knitters, sewists, bag makers, cake makers, wood crafters, leather crafters, jewellery makers, vintage clothes traders, herb boats, beer boats and lots more at many of our events.”

For all the latest information, news and updates please visit www.watersidefestival.org.Waterside Festival is being brought together in partnership by Aylesbury Canal Society, Aylesbury Garden Town, Aylesbury Town Centre Partnership, Aylesbury Town Council, Aylesbury Vale District Council, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Buckinghamshire County Council, Canal River Trust, Geraud Market, Queens Park Arts Centre, Roving Canal Traders Association, The Little Trip Boat, Travelodge, University Campus Aylesbury Vale, Visit Buckinghamshire, and Waitrose.

Book your place at Future Proof adult learner fair


Are you looking for a new job or do you want to retrain and learn new skills to get back into work?

Then don’t miss Future Proof, a free adult skills and jobs fair on Friday 8 June and Saturday 9 June at University Campus Aylesbury Vale in the heart of Aylesbury.

The event is organised by Buckinghamshire College Group and visitors will be able to explore job and training opportunities, meet employers and talk about job opportunities at the campus in Walton Street, Aylesbury.

Exhibitions and workshops will be running over both days and a number of key speakers will be delivering advice to employers and adults.

It starts with an employers conference from 10am-2pm on Friday 8 June and is followed by an exhibition from 2-4pm on Friday and 9.30am-2.30pm on Saturday, where the public will be able to explore job and training opportunities in Buckinghamshire by browsing the stands and speaking to various organisations. Funding and support information will also be available.

Visitors are also welcome to pop along to any of the workshops, which range from advice on writing a CV to interview tips and making best use of social media.

To find  out more about Future Proof visit the Buckinghamshire College Group website at www.buckscollegegroup.ac.uk or just turn up to the events at University Campus Aylesbury Vale.

The rundown of events is:

Friday 8 June

10am-2pm: Employers conference.

2pm-4pm: Exhibition open to the public, with workshops including CVs, interviews, identifying transferable skills and using social media to find jobs.

Saturday 9 June

9.30am-2.30pm. Exhibition open to the public with workshops including CVs, interviews, identifying transferable skills and using social media to find jobs.

University Campus Aylesbury Vale is a partnership between Bucks College Group and Buckinghamshire New University.

Think positive with Aylesbury Breakfast Briefing

Psychology lecturer Dr Ceri Sims of Buckinghamshire New University speaks about bringing positive psychology in to the workplace at the next free Breakfast Briefing at University Campus Aylesbury Vale from 8am-10am on Friday 27 April.

Dr Sims lectures on a Master’s degree in Applied Positive Psychology at Bucks New University, wand the Briefing at the Campus in Walton Street, Aylesbury, and said the Briefing would interest managers, team leaders, human resource professionals, coaches and learning and development professionals.

She added: “The Briefing is ideal for anyone who would like to bring a positive mindset into your workplace and who is looking to increase employees’ wellbeing and engagement.

“Positive psychology is the science of what makes life worth living and is centred around theories and research involving understanding and developing wellbeing, optimal functioning, and positive traits such as strength and resilience.”

Dr Sims owns her own coaching and training practice, is a Chartered Psychologist on the British Psychologists Society Register of Coaching Psychologists, and a member of the organisation’s Special Group in Coaching Psychology.

In July she starts her next BPS-accredited short course on ‘Positive Psychology in Coaching’ at University Campus Aylesbury Vale.

The Breakfast Briefing series at University Campus Aylesbury Vale provides an opportunity to network with local businesses and includes free bacon butties, pastries, tea, coffee and fresh orange juice.

Reserve your place .

Organisational Resilience examined

Buckinghamshire New University academic Louisa Berry will be speaking about the importance of making an organisation resilient at the next Breakfast Briefing at University Campus Aylesbury Vale on Friday 23 February.

Louisa is Course Leader for MSc Organisational Resilience at Bucks New University and the Briefing, called ‘Business critical: harnessing the seven ps for resilience’; is supported by Buckinghamshire Business First and takes place from 8am-10am.

It includes a free breakfast of bacon rolls and pastries, and tea, coffee, and orange juice. There will also be networking opportunities.

University Campus Aylesbury Vale is a partnership between Bucks New University and Buckinghamshire College Group, and the Breakfast Briefings offer topical subjects to help local businesses through talks by academics and lecturers from the University or College.

Louisa said: “My Breakfast Briefing is aimed at the novel start up to well-established companies and will particularly appeal to operational managers and executives.

“Organisational resilience is the ability of organisations and individuals to be flexible and adaptable to any changing situations.

“This could range from how prepared they are and able to respond to incidents like flooding, staff off with flu, or terrorist threats, through to being enterprising and recognising that a business needs to grow and develop.

“I believe this philosophy begins with the individual and the culture in the organisation.

“It’s a great, easy opportunity to find out the key ways you can make your organisation more robust.

“I will introduce key facets of Organisational Resilience including protection and performance. The world is changing fast and these tenets are vital to continued smooth running.”

The Breakfast Briefing series continues with Dr Ceri Sims, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Bucks New University, giving a talk called ‘Bringing positive psychology into the workplace’ from 8am-10am on Friday 27 April.

Register your attendance for one or all of the Breakfast Briefing series and follow developments on Twitter at @UniCampusAV.