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Date: 26/01/2016

Apprenticeships are good for both businesses and individuals. They are an important way of improving the UK’s skills base and they provide young people with practical experience and help develop them for the world of work.

The Government is committed to seeing three million apprenticeships start over the next five years and we are pleased to see apprenticeships flourishing both nationally and locally. It was fantastic to see over 300 apprentices, employers and businesses at the Worcestershire Apprenticeship Awards 2015 and we were pleased to sponsor the Advanced Level Apprentice of the Year award. We are fortunate in Worcestershire to have many great initiatives, including Worcestershire Apprenticeships.

The Chamber would encourage all businesses to consider taking on an apprentice. One of our previous apprentices was awarded the “Young Apprentice of the Year Centenary Award 2013" and she continues to be a valuable member of staff several years later.

Many of our members are committed to encouraging the future generation of business leaders: several won awards in the Worcestershire Apprenticeship Awards 2015, recognised in our business magazine, Business Direction. ISO Quality Services, one of our members in Worcester, went even further when they were awarded the Small Employer of the Year Award for the West Midlands at the National Apprenticeship Awards 2015. Operations Director Jennifer Appleton commented: ‘We are very honoured to have been presented with this award in recognition for our achievements, but also for the hard work put in by all our apprentices for making our scheme a success.”

The British Chambers of Commerce and St Helens Chamber are co-ordinating Your Future Careers Fairs, a project that will see 250 careers events delivered by local Chambers across the country. We are pleased to support this in Worcestershire and the next event, in partnership with Worcestershire County Council, will be on Wednesday 9 March at Sixways Stadium.