Andover College, the largest college provider of Apprenticeships in Hampshire and West Surrey*, is once again supporting National Apprenticeship Week. Now in its 10th year, the campaign celebrates the value of the gold standard in work-based learning to individuals, employers and the economy.

The theme for National Apprenticeship Week 2017 is ‘Ladder of Opportunity!’ – focusing on progression and opportunity as a way to showcase the rich and diverse Apprenticeship offer.

Employers say that qualified apprentices are 15% more employable than those with other qualifications and a local business enjoying this and other benefits is popular local hairdresser Just Teasin’ Hair Design. Commenting on the value apprentice Lacie Hewlett adds to her salon, owner Jane Tarrant said: “As a business, we would not function without the help of our apprentice and Andover College have been great providers of this professional training scheme. Lacie’s Apprenticeship Liaison Officer regularly visits the salon to keep me updated on Lacie’s studies and vice versa, so there is a great established relationship between business and provider. It’s a business move I would highly recommend, as it benefits both the apprentice and their employer.”

Apprentice Lacie Hewlett is soon to become a qualified Level 3 hairdresser having completed nearly three years of training with Andover College. Commenting on why she chose an apprenticeship over other forms of training, Lacie said: “My apprenticeship is a great way for me to gain a presence in the hairdressing trade. I’m getting industry experience working alongside experts, building a list of loyal clients and earning a wage, all of which would not be possible without the apprenticeship scheme at Andover College.”

Andover College didn’t get to be the largest college provider Apprenticeships in the region* without its expert team of Apprenticeship Liaison Officers who provide employers and apprentices with support throughout the whole process. These Officers take away the pressure of administration and paperwork from the employer and ensure timely progress for the apprentice through their programme.

This team of experts have proved key for Jayne at Just Teasin’ who said: “Andover College is known for the quality of its provision and the highly supportive team of Apprenticeship Liaison Officers who ensure the entire process, from identifying a vacancy, recruiting an apprentice, working with the employer and apprentice and the successful completion of the programme, go as smoothly as possible”.

There’s never a better time to get into an apprenticeship. The government are doubling the annual level of spending on apprenticeships between 2010-11 and 2019-20 in cash terms to £2.5bn. Apprenticeships are available in 1,500 job roles, covering more than 170 industries and are available up to degree level.

Employers and future apprentices looking to find out more to take their first step on the ‘Ladder of Opportunity’ should contact the College’s Apprenticeship team on 0845 850 0916 or visit www.andover.ac.uk/apprenticeships/

Follow the day to daylives our our apprentices as they take over Andover College’s social media during National Apprenticeship Week (6-10 March) on Facebook and Instagram

* Andover and Sparsholt College are the largest college providers of Apprenticeships in the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Enterprise M3 (the M3 corridor – from South and West Surrey through much of Hampshire to New Forest).