PETA meets with Minister Gillian Keegan to discuss skills for jobs

Article summary: PETA, in partnership with Group Training Association (GTA) England, hosted a virtual meeting with Gillian Keegan, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills on 1 July. 

The meeting showcased how PETA’s 50-year heritage as a membership organisation clearly aligned to the objectives outlined in the Government’s recently released White Paper ‘Skills for jobs: lifelong learning for opportunity and growth’. 

Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education said in the Paper: “We continue to deal with the coronavirus pandemic and prepare to recover and rebuild from its aftermath. It must also be our mission to forge a new identity as we seize the opportunities created by our exit from the European Union. To give ourselves the best chance of success we must make sure everyone has the skills which will allow them to get good jobs, both now and in the future.”

The Paper sets out how we will reform further education so it supports people to get the skills our economy needs throughout their lives, wherever they live in the country. Focusing post-16 skills on this core mission will increase productivity, support growth industries and give individuals opportunities to progress in their careers.

To do this the government plans to put employers at the heart of the system so that this training will lead to jobs that will improve productivity and fill skills gaps. They also plan to make training more accessible to all and to invest in higher-level technical qualifications that provide a valuable alternative to a university degree.

PETA CEO Huw Chapman said: “Being able to offer a balanced representation from educational provision is important as it helps inform future policy decisions so this was a wonderful opportunity to connect employers and apprentices with the Minister. It was a truly rewarding session and highlighted the positive work we do as a charity, in building the critical skills local businesses need and developing people to be ‘work ready’.”

The Minister was keen to speak to apprentices to hear their story of what led them to choose an apprenticeship for their development. Former PETA apprentices Harry Swatton of Eaton, Sam Walker of Trumpf Lasers, Kirsten Corbett of Safran Helicopter Engines and Vaclav Petucha of Allergy Therapeutics were on hand to share their experience.  

They said that apprenticeships were not always promoted as a way forward after school and that they found their apprenticeship partnership with PETA and their employers to be a positive choice. For them, it delivered a supportive, well-structured and great route to getting them work ready and developing the skills and qualifications needed to enable them to excel and become a genuine asset to their employers.

Damon de Laszlo, Chairman of Harwin, a local engineering organisation, explained how partnering with a local employer-led education provider gave his business an effective skills development solution, by delivering education solutions that prepare individuals for work and build the skills needed for business in the future. 

The Chairman of PETA, Elliot Seymour (who is also the HR Director for Hamble Aerostructures), explained how the employer input was essential in offering a positive contribution to what skills were needed locally. As a representative of local business and as Chair of PETA, this enabled a strong combination of bringing employers and skills provision together to influence educational investment needs of local businesses. 

He highlighted the need to continue ensuring that PETA remained up to date with the latest technology, especially Engineering and ICT which are crucial education areas, and where real skills shortages exist.

PETA has a great reputation for delivering successful apprenticeship programmes in the areas of engineering, IT, business and management. Apprenticeship training is flexible and can be adapted to the needs of your business. Using a framework of standards set with a training provider, you can train a new apprentice in your business practices, safe in the knowledge they are building the right skill set from day one.

We have a highly experienced team on hand to help you with anything from developing your recruitment strategy to managing your apprenticeship funding, ensuring you maximise your investment in apprenticeships. There are many advantages of employing an apprentice and we’re on hand to chat these through with you if you wish.

Read our apprentice stories for inspiration and get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable team to get your apprenticeship journey with us started!

Source: White Paper ‘Skills for jobs: lifelong learning for opportunity and growth’.



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