Labour MP for Newcastle North, Catherine McKinnell, has today welcomed her new apprentice, 16-year old
Charlene Curry, to her first day at work in National Apprenticeship Week.
Catherine’s Apprenticeships and Skills Bill aims to dramatically increase the numbers of apprenticeships in the UK using the tool of public procurement. The Bill receives its second reading in Parliament this Friday (11th February), but Catherine is leading from the front by hiring an apprentice in her constituency office in Westerhope, Newcastle.
Charlene Curry, from Newbiggin Hall in Newcastle, will complete a Business Administration qualification whilst gaining work experience in the office of her local Member of Parliament. The new apprentice, who has been placed by the North East Apprenticeship Company, will be involved in a variety of tasks to help ensure the smooth running of the office, including answering the telephone, opening post, ordering stationery, filing and dealing with enquiries from constituents.
Catherine McKinnell said:
“It was a real pleasure to welcome Charlene to work this morning on the first day of National Apprenticeship Week. I believe she will be a huge asset to my constituency office whilst offering her the opportunity to gain a qualification while she works.
“I am passionate about the importance of apprenticeships for both employers and employees, and for the country as a whole. They provide a structured career path, whilst also helping to develop the skills we need if our economy is to compete nationally and internationally. That is why I introduced my Apprenticeships and Skills Bill into Parliament, for which support continues to grow – with backing received from Ed Miliband, Lord Sugar, the TUC, the Federation of Small Businesses, the North East Chamber of Commerce, Unison, Unite, the GMB, UCATT, NUS, the Association of Colleges, the Federation of Master Builders and the Electrical Contractors’ Association.”
Charlene has just completed an NVQ in customer service working on an NHS contract and in her interview really impressed Catherine with her insightful responses and friendly manner.
On her first day at work Charlene Curry, Catherine McKinnell’s new apprentice, said:
“I am really looking forward to working in the office of my local Member of Parliament. I was interested in completing an apprenticeship so I could get work experience while I gain a qualification and this is a great opportunity. In my spare time I volunteer for Skimstone – a local charity working with young people – and I look forward to helping Catherine with her work in the local community.”
Catherine McKinnell MP has the second reading of her apprenticeship bill on Friday (please see earlier post)
As with anything that is important it needs as much support as possible. Catherine and her team have made it really easy to support the bill. Just copy the letter below and send it to John Hayes MP.
Let’s start and collectively share the responsibility for our young people and our future skill needs.
It’s as easy as that!
John Hayes MP
Minister of State
Department for Business, Innovation & Skills
1 Victoria Street
Support Catherine McKinnell MP Apprenticeships and Skills Bill
Dear John Hayes MP
I am writing to you to ask you to back the Apprenticeships and Skills (Public Procurement) Bill and help it to progress through parliament at its second reading on Friday 11 February 2011.
I am pleased to hear that you have been supportive of the bill and its aim to increase the number of high quality apprenticeships available by requiring companies awarded public sector contracts to commit to providing apprenticeships and skills training to young people. It is also encouraging to know that the Conservative led Government has pledged to increase the number of apprenticeships.
The Apprenticeships and Skills (Public Procurement) Bill is urgently needed and will help to achieve the Government’s pledge by:
• Creating thousands of new apprenticeships at no cost to the public purse.
• Bridging the employment and training shortfall. This is important as apprenticeships significantly reduce the burden of skills training upon the public purse.
• Placing Britain in a strong position to emerge from the global recession with the skills needed to grow the economy.
• Relieving pressure upon universities – currently further education is oversubscribed, the apprenticeship bill will challenge the perception that university education is the only route to success
• Benefiting Business – Small and Medium Businesses benefit as Apprenticeships engender loyalty as well as giving them access to highly trained workers, which avoids the expense and the problems of skill shortages.
I would be grateful if you could respond and let me know that you will continue to support the bill and help it to become law.
(Insert your name and address including postcode here.)
At the TUC apprenticeship conference today. Stand set up. Hopefully we will get lots of interest and lots of support from union delegates.
Doing a lot with unions this week as I am attending the National TUC apprenticeship conference at Congress House in London on Wednesday.
The Prince’s Trust Celebrate Success Awards honour the achievements of disadvantaged young people supported by The Trust who have succeeded against the odds, improved their chances in life and had a positive impact on their local community.
Gateshead Council and North East Apprenticeship Company Educational Achiever of the Year
Recognising young people who have overcome barriers, developed new skills and improved their education prospects.
NEAC will be exhibiting at the TUC unionlearn conference at St James Park Newcastle on Monday the 7th Feb.
Why not come and see us if you are attending?
We would love to tell you what we are up to.
I will post more info on the day. Why not follow us on Twitter (NEACltd) and keep up to date.
Looks like a great Agenda. It will be great to hear Catherine McKinnell MP who is one of NEAC’s excellent employers.
Promoting Apprenticeships – A role for trade unions
Monday 7th February, The Moncur Suite, St James’ Park,
Newcastle upon Tyne
10:00 Refreshments and Registration
10:30 Opening Remarks Joyce McAndrew, Education, Learning & Skills Forum Chair
10:40 Catherine McKinnell MP for Newcastle North, Shadow Solicitor-General
11:10 National Apprenticeship Service – John Wayman, Regional Director
11:40 Employer Case Study 1: Sunderland City Council
11:55 Employer Case Study 2 (tbc)
13:10 Trade Union Role in Apprenticeships; Apprenticeship Toolkit Graham Randle, TUC Apprenticeships Liaison Promotions Officer
13:20 Activity: Trade Union Role in Apprenticeships
14:05 Tackling Inequality in Apprenticeships Dave Storrie, Regional Development Workers
14:15 Activity: Tackling Inequality in Apprenticeships
15:00 Closing remarks Beth Farhat, Union Development Coordinator
On the eve of National Apprenticeship Week, with anticipation and an appetite to encourage young people and employers that an apprenticeship is a cost effective and efficient route to continue education and learn new skills, I am amazed at the ‘youth bashing’ that I continually see and despair of!
When will we as nation realize that if we continue to kick our young people when they are down and believe that the responsibility is with others and not everyone, our young people will continue to be under-skilled, under supported and under utilized in our workforce. Then we wonder why they don’t seem to ‘conform’ to what we see as normal.
When was it ‘normal’ to disregard the needs of a whole generation and feel OK about it?!!!
It is crazy that we hear that ‘our’ government are not only scrapping EMA, which helps thousands of young people to continue their education, but also scrapping the apprentice guarantee for 17-18 year olds. And then a reckless journalist from the Telegraph who clearly knows no better, decides that they should write an article about how many apprentices ‘don’t’ achieve giving the government another reason to cut the disappearing investment that goes into supporting our young people to find their place in the workforce.
It is easy to have a go at young people without actually really looking into the successes as well as the young people who find an apprentice is just not for them I’m sure the said journalist and indeed many of us would not be too happy every time we started something with all the enthusiasm in the world just to drop out before we have finished?
I agree that sometimes many young people make the wrong choice but so do we all. Come-on, why don’t we all get real and focus on the opposite 75% who do achieve for once, and start to talk about the ‘good’ job that has been done with these young people and also what an impact these young people have had.
We have to at some point find some balance about our opinions and come to our senses and give young people a chance. Apprenticeships can not only change the lives of the young people who undertake them, the families within which these young people live, and quite clearly the employers within which they work.
Lets find some good news about our young people for once and see what happens. You never know we may like how it feels.
Labour MP Catherine McKinnell has proposed a Ten Minute Rule Bill requiring “successful bidders for high-value public contracts to demonstrate a firm commitment to skills training and apprenticeships”.
Introducing the bill on 14 September 2010 Ms McKinnell said expanding access to apprenticeships can “create a more tailor-made training system where employers, who know their industries better than anyone, identify the skills that are needed and train their apprentices to suit it”.
CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO SEE THE FIRST READING OF THE BILL.
The North East Apprenticeship Company now works with closely with Catherine by supplying and apprentice to her constituency office.
Watch out for the launch of the North East Apprenticeship Company, and the Environmental Academy’s new Green Apprenticeship Programme. This is a new and exciting initiative that you will hopefully be hearing a lot about in the future. ‘Putting Energy in Your Business” green apprenticeships are on their way and they are hear to stay.
Nineteen-year-olds Andrew Sinclair, from South Shields, and Rachael Scott, from Felling, will be trained in all aspects of food preparation and hospitality at the prestigious sixth floor eatery, which has panoramic views across the Newcastle and Gateshead quayside.
Both secured the roles through the North East Apprenticeship Company (NEAC), which has a regional brief to expand apprenticeship positions, tackling the skills gap to create more than 1,000 new apprentice jobs by 2012, particularly among small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
More than 150 companies have signed up with the NEAC since it was launched and more than 400 potential apprentices have registered for placements.
Andrew and Rachael, who will qualify with NVQ level 2 Professional Cookery and Level 2 Food and Drink Service during their 12 month placements, are working full-time under the watchful eye of head chef and former restaurateur, Adam Hegarty, who was himself trained at London’s five star Claridge’s Hotel.
They will not only work behind the scenes in the kitchens learning how to cook the modern British classic dishes served at SIX, but they will also be trained to the high front-of-house standards that the restaurant prides itself on.
Adam explained: “These two are working very hard in all areas, from the kitchen to customer service. I’m very impressed with both of them.
“Andrew is already demonstrating the drive required to make it as a professional chef while Rachael is showing strengths on the event management side of things.
“Although it’s early days, both have shown they have the potential to succeed in the hospitality and restaurant business and I would like to thank the North East Apprenticeship Company for finding and recruiting them for us.”
Andrew added: “I’ve always wanted to be a chef. Being at the Baltic is brilliant – the day flies by and I’m learning some great skills which will help me in my future career.
“The North East Apprenticeship Company provided a great service to help me find this job. I simply applied online before being offered an interview and then winning the apprenticeship.
“The NEAC advisors were really helpful and the process was made easy by their support and guidance throughout.
“I’m really looking forward with confidence to the future and I’m going to use this opportunity to work hard and be the best chef I can be.”
The NEAC managing director Paul Champion said: “Good luck to Andrew and Rachael in their new exciting roles at the Baltic. It is great to see local employers like SIX investing in young people and seeing them as a vital part of the future success of their business.
“We can not only recruit young people for apprenticeships but support employers across a range of sectors with administrative services which make it easy and beneficial for companies to use apprentices.”
Cooking up a bright future: Andrew Sinclair (front left) and Rachael Scott (future right) have been placed as apprentices at BALTIC rooftop restaurant SIX by the North East Apprenticeship Company. Looking on are (left) Adam Hegarty and the NEAC’s Rachael Mood.
More at http://www.neapprenticeship.co.uk/ or email email@example.com Tel: 0191 490 2453.
The local MP behind a new apprenticeships bill is so impressed by the work the North East Apprenticeship Company’s (NEAC) been doing in finding apprentices for regional employers that she’s now asking it to find one for herself.
Catherine McKinnell, the MP for Newcastle North, wants to recruit an administration apprentice for her busy Westerhope constituency office after seeing firsthand the expertise and support the NEAC offers to employers looking at apprenticeships to improve workforce skills.
The NEAC has a regional brief to expand apprenticeship positions, tackling the skills gap to create more than 1000 new apprentice jobs in the next two years, particularly among small and medium enterprises (SMEs). It undertakes the recruitment of people, provides an HR function for all the apprentices as well as organising their training using locally-based providers.
Almost 150 North East companies have already signed up with the NEAC since it was launched and 450 potential apprentices have also registered for placements.
Catherine McKinnell was struck by the NEAC’s approach to business and the support it offers, particularly the collaborative approach it takes to working with industry and commerce and its role in highlighting the value of apprentices and the benefits offered to organisations planning for growth as the economic recovery continues.
The MP has been an advocate of apprenticeships and is herself leading by example – she is steering through parliament the ‘Apprenticeships and Skills (Public Procurement Contracts) Bill’, which aims to introduce a requirement that contracts awarded by public authorities include a commitment that successful bidders employ apprentices.
An apprentice is now required who can join Catherine’s team which deals with a wide range of constituency matters and manages her busy parliamentary schedule.
The new apprentice will be involved in a variety of tasks to help ensure the smooth running of the office, including answering the telephone, dealing with emails, ordering stationery, filing and dealing with enquiries from constituents.
They will also get the chance to add to the skills learnt in the workplace by going to a local college to study for an NVQ qualification in business administration.
“I’m really looking forward to this as I’m a big supporter of apprenticeships,” said Catherine McKinnell. “It’s a great chance for someone to join us who’s not only out-going and got bags of enthusiasm to offer but is friendly and efficient.
“The job will certainly be different and they’ll learn a great deal about not only working in an office but also the work of an MP.
“It’ll also be an ideal and rewarding opportunity for someone who’s keen to learn, work hard but also gain excellent workplace skills and contribute positively to the successful running of a busy office.”
Catherine McKinnell has previous experience of working with apprentices and is keen to see more organisations hiring them in the future – one of the reasons behind her decision to bring in her bill.
“It is vital that we continue to invest in people to ensure regional employers have the highly trained and skilled workforces they need to be competitive in the increasingly global economy.
“I was impressed by the work the North East Apprenticeship Company is doing in achieving this. The service it provides is extremely valuable and among the best in the region.
“It’s doing a terrific job in raising the profile of apprenticeships regionally while helping public and private sector organisations engage positively with apprentices.”
Managing director of the NEAC, Paul Champion, said: “Catherine’s backing is welcome and shows the support for apprenticeships at the highest political level.
“The Government is committed to apprenticeships and sees them as a key weapon in the battle to secure Britain’s future skills’ needs.
“This will ensure our industries are fully equipped to meet the challenges of competing for business against the emerging power houses like India and China and others through the provision of a highly trained and resourceful workforce.
“We can not only recruit young people for exciting opportunities but support employers across a range of sectors with advice and administrative services which make it quick and easy to take on apprentices.”
More at info Tel: 0191 490 2453.