We are proud to announce that the South West Apprenticeship Company has been named as a finalists for the prestigious Bristol and Bath Apprenticeship Awards 2018. The Awards will be held on Wednesday 16th May at the Ashton Gate Stadium in the central of Bristol and is sponsored by South Gloucestershire and Stroud College.
As one of the area’s larger employers of apprentices we are committed to promoting and creating sustainable Apprenticeships that deliver an impact for both our apprentices and our host business partners. We do this by placing the apprentice at the centre of the journey, matching and supporting them into the right role, ensuring they complete and/or progress onto higher qualifications. We go the extra mile to ensure they get the most from their Apprenticeship experience, realise their full potential and help them to progress onto the next stage of their career path. Our West of England apprentices have gone on to be senior managers within local SME businesses, set-up their own business, further study with a degree at the University of the West of England and another is now a legal assistant within a firm of solicitors in the centre of Bristol.
Since we began in 2010 we have employed over 620 Apprentices. 202 of these in the West of England – 64 were employed by us in the last 4 years. We currently employ 27 apprentices in Bristol and Bath, all placed within our host business partners receiving dedicated mentoring support from SWAC. Our apprentices study many different frameworks and standards at Intermediate, Advanced and Higher level, including: Engineering, Business Administration, Customer Service, Team Leading/Management, AAT, ICT, Sales, Hospitality, Supporting Teaching & Learning in Schools, Hair & Beauty, Health and Social Care, Retail, Laboratory & Associated Technical Activities and even Fire and Rescue!
With our extra support mentoring programme 98% of our apprentices have progressed into full-time employment or a higher Apprenticeship on completion and 98% of our apprentices have completed their apprenticeship – both well above the national average!
SWAC Director Clare Vertigen explains; “ We encourage exceptional performance from our apprentices and try to establish how they have exceeded expectations by going above and beyond their everyday duties by applying their learning from their Apprenticeship in their workplace. We have an Apprentice of the Month and Year Award which rewards apprentices that have demonstrated this.
We also encourage our apprentices to ask for feedback from their host supervisor on performance and impact made against business/departmental objectives; to look at costs savings and initiatives or innovations they have introduced that has had an outstanding contribution to the business.
By doing this we can measure the benefits our apprentices have made for all our host partners and for us as a business. We expect to see cost savings, process changes, improved operational procedures, better customer satisfaction and increased revenue due to the new skills. In fact we have seen all of these!”
Clare goes on to say “Not all Apprentice journeys go smoothly! However, with personalised support through a dedicated Mentor we try to meet our apprentice’s individual needs, helping them to overcome barriers to learning and ultimately achieve their career aspirations.
We support our host partners and apprentices through all disciplinary, performance improvement plans and unforeseen issues (pregnancy, ill-health, redundancy, etc.) advising the provider, host and apprentice when a break in learning may be needed or workplace adjustments need to be made.”
About The South West Apprenticeship Company
The South West Apprenticeship Company Ltd is dedicated to the continuous development of all our apprentices. The company has regional teams in the Gloucestershire, West of England, Wiltshire and North Devon.
Through the SWAC model, the employer does not directly employ the apprentice. Instead, SWAC employs the apprentice, and the organisation becomes the ‘host’ employer. SWAC works in partnership with their partner providers to ensure both apprentice and host are supported through the whole Apprenticeship placement to help the apprentice to reach their full potential.
SWAC would be happy to discuss Apprenticeships further with local employers who feel they would like that extra support to meet their business objectives with their own SWAC apprentice. Please contact us to arrange a visit.