21st March 2018

Expert Advice from Bridgend College on Apprenticeships

The 2017 document Industrial Strategy – Life Sciences sector deal , outlines the industry’s ambition to reach 20,000 apprenticeships in the science sector by 2020. The financial benefits of apprenticeships are estimated to contribute £2.4 billion to the UK economy (CEBR, 2013). Additionally, hiring apprentices brings about improvements in product/service quality, productivity and staff morale according to the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS). Further benefits include lower staff turnover, reduced recruitment costs: 83% of employers who employ Apprentices, rely on their Apprenticeship programme to provide the skilled workers that they need for the future.

Skills, including apprenticeships, is a matter devolved to the Welsh Government and it has developed its apprenticeship system to meet the needs and priorities of Wales. The Welsh Government has pledged to increase the number of higher apprenticeships and pilot degree apprenticeships particularly in science, technology, engineering and professional routes – to better meet the needs of the economy with fully funded apprenticeships now available to both new and existing employees of any age.

Apprenticeships in Wales are a success story worthy of recognition and celebration. The 2013/14 overall success rate for all apprenticeships was 84% in Wales: considerably higher than the 69% success rate for all apprenticeships in England. Bridgend College attainment rates are consistently above even the Welsh average, and our experience and expertise has been recently recognised with the award for the Regional winner Nations (Scotland, Wales and NI) Apprenticeship Provider of the Year Awarded at the AAC Apprenticeship Awards. The final winner for the National Apprenticeship Provider of the Year will be announced later this month at the AAC Gala Dinner later this month.

Bridgend College is the only training provider in Wales to offer a sector leading Higher Apprenticeship in Life Sciences. Our role as training provider is to ensure a good fit between the employer’s needs and the expectations of the apprentice. We enable employers to access fully funded training opportunities financed through revenues raised by the Apprenticeship Levy. Bridgend College, rated Double Excellent by Estyn, delivers outstanding work based training including an assigned, dedicated WBL liaison officer for each apprentice/employer to ensure the apprenticeship runs smoothly and serve as a point of contact. Employers receive regular detailed feedback to employers on the progress of their apprentices towards each framework component. As learners of Bridgend College, each apprentice has access to all Bridgend College facilities, learning resources and support services.

View Bridgend College’s profile here.