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.