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EAL applauds apprenticeship efforts

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Ann Watson, managing director of specialist awarding organisation, EAL (EMTA Awards Limited), has congratulated the winners of the National Apprenticeship Awards.

The annual, National Apprenticeship Awards (NAA) held on Wednesday 29 June, saw UK firms recognised for their substantial commitment towards apprenticeship training, with Watson commented: “The economic situation facing the UK continues to be challenging, with firms operating under difficult conditions. However, this hasn’t stopped many recognising that apprentices are an invaluable asset. These companies who continue to make training and development a key priority are worthy of real praise. I am absolutely thrilled to see two of our employer firms and their apprentices among the winners; Sheffield Forgemasters picked-up the award for Large Employer of the Year and BAE Systems received the award for Macro Employer of the Year.”

Watson went on to say: “Both these firms fully appreciate the lasting legacy of the apprenticeship programme. Hiring an apprentice means that not only are they investing in the future of our young people, but ensuring that the UK has access to sufficient homegrown talent to secure our global competitive advantage. Having worked with both organisations, I am always so impressed by their continued commitment to apprenticeship training.”

A common misconception is that an apprenticeship can limit a learner’s access to higher education and Watson concludes: “This couldn’t be further from the truth. Far from being just a ‘skill for life’ many captains of industry started their career as an apprentice. BAE Systems employs 1,216 apprentices and 65 per cent of their learners go on to complete a higher level qualification with many achieving degree status. This is concrete evidence that the apprenticeship programme is both dynamic and as relevant to our economy today, as it ever has been.”

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