chesterfield apprenticeships

Workpays Founder Helen Richardson Becomes an MBE

Helen Richardson, Founder of Workpays, has been awarded with an MBE for Service to Young People During the Pandemic, and was presented with her award at Windsor Castle last month.

Throughout the pandemic, Workpays remained open throughout the pandemic going above and beyond to offer extended pastoral services to our participants, in addition to skills and employability delivery. After creating an online learning platform from scratch in less than a month, we provided a laptop and WiFi dongles to those participants without the equipment to access online learning and virtual classes, these were hand delivered to their homes.

Anne Wright, Managing Director of Workpays said, “We are delighted to congratulate Helen for being awarded an MBE, it is an exceptional accolade that highlights the valuable work undertaken at Workpays during the pandemic. I’m extremely proud that the Workpays family became fully united and focused to continue our service and offer excellent support to our young people at a extraordinarily challenging time for them.”

Alex Glasner, Managing Director, said, “This is a huge accolade for Helen and Workpays and testament to the work our team put in day in day out. Workpays will always put our learners first no matter what the circumstances.”

As a skills provider in Chesterfield, Workpays helps people to access the skills & training needed to gain employment.

The company provides Apprenticeship Support & Knowledge to parents, teachers & students and assists employers to develop their workforce through work-based learning and apprenticeships.

Workpays has offices in Derby, Coventry, Chesterfield, Kettering, Leicester, Wolverhampton, Worcester, Hinckley, Redditch, Corby & Market Harborough.

Find out more about the wide range of apprenticeships available in Chesterfield, along with the Made In Chesterfield scheme, which enables school pupils to gain first-hand experience of construction, manufacturing and engineering by taking part in site visits at local businesses.

Workpays supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Workpays Directors – Helen Richardson pictured centre

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Celebrate Chesterfield, Home, Made in Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , , ,

Workpays’ Big Assembly Wins at the 2022 Annual Apprenticeship Conference Awards

Big Assembly, a project delivered by Workpays in association with its partners, has won the FE WEEK AELP Annual Apprenticeship Conference 2022 Award for Promoting Apprenticeships ‘Campaign of the Year’ at the award ceremony in Birmingham.

The annual event returned in 2022, with the broadcast informing thousands of young people about the benefits of apprenticeships. The live event enables schools, parents, students and employers to receive  information and advice about possible next steps in their careers.

For the 2022 event, The Big Assembly teamed up with companies such as Pret A Manger, Bakkavor, Disability Rights UK, the Co-operative Bank & Coca-Cola Europacific Partners.

Alex Glasner, Managing Director at Workpays said: “It’s a real honour to be receive the Promoting Apprenticeship Campaign of the Year Award. Our entire team works hard throughout the year to provide young people with information and real stories about incredible apprenticeships.

“I’m proud that the work we are doing has been recognised with a national award. We will always keep young people and their careers at the centre of what we do.”

Twenty-four awards winners were recognised at the awards including Workpays, revealed at the ceremony in Birmingham as part of the two day conference which is held annually.

There are many great opportunities to become an apprentice across Chesterfield, with more than 2,500 people currently taking part in an apprenticeship in the town.

Chesterfield is the first town in the UK to declare itself an Apprentice Town – demonstrating its commitment to growing the future and careers of young people alongside business and the economy by retaining and developing young talent in the town in order to attract more employers to invest here.

Workpays supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 200 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Business, Featured, Home, Made in Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , , ,

Print Digital Media takes on new apprentice with help of local skills provider GBS Apprenticeships

Print Digital Media has added to it’s growing team by taking on a new apprentice after working with local skills and careers company, GBS Apprenticeships.

Jasmine Mowbray has been working at Print Digital Media for just over a month, and has already been involved in a number of marketing projects at the firm.

Jasmine explained how her first month working with the business has already given her a range of new skills and experience: “I have had a fantastic time in my first month at Print Digital Media. Working for a small company meant I got to meet everyone involved in the business really quickly and all my co-workers are supportive and always happy to help to help, if I’m ever in need of guidance.

“Everything happens in one building, so I have been able to see the full cycle of the service we provide, from design to proof and print. This has enabled me to become more knowledgeable about the business, which has helped a lot in my projects.

“Since starting my role, I have worked on a range of different marketing projects. I’m always doing something different everyday meaning that it never gets repetitive, and it also means I’m able to test and improve my abilities, resulting in a wider set of skills.

“I wish I had chosen this path sooner! It’s a really dynamic way of learning as you are gaining valuable industry experience whilst also obtaining a degree. If you are someone who’s looking to widen their knowledge but struggles with learning in a classroom and long hours of studying, an apprenticeship would be a better option for you!”

Richard Musgrove, Managing Director of Print Digital Media commented on how much of a benefit Jasmine has already had on the company: “It’s been a really difficult two years for many businesses, especially the hospitality sector but projects that have been on hold are now coming through. The investments we made last summer in new printing presses increased our capacity, dramatically speeding up our turnaround times, which has improved our service offering and enabled us to take on additional works.

“Young people are often criticised, a lot of which is unjust in my experience as the majority just need a platform to learn, develop and grow. At PDM we are very proud to be supporting the younger generation that are starting out, whether it’s work experience or apprenticeship programmes and if we can provide development opportunities, to help them personally or professionally that sets them on the right path, then brilliant. We might just be mentoring the next Ben Francis.”

Richard also praise GBS for enabling his company to find the right person for his business: “The whole GBS team were very supportive and the process was incredibly easy. GBS took a detailed brief of our requirements and really tried to understand our culture and how we work to find the best fit, ensuring the candidates would also fit in.

“What really struck me was how considerate and caring GBS were towards the candidates, as it’s a daunting experience coming out of sixth form or college into an interview process, but they were great.

Coral Guard, Marketing Manager at GBS Apprenticeships said: “Everything we do is for the benefit of both learner and employer. We want our employers to bring bright young minds into the business and give them the opportunity to thrive. Apprentices are able to gain brand new skills, while a business can help build on skill gaps and strengthen their business further. Seeing businesses grow and develop further through employing an apprentice is why we do what we do.

“We are always at hand to help a business get started with employing an apprentice. Just pick up the phone or drop us an email and we can have a chat about what your business needs. We help by evaluating what type of apprenticeship will benefit the business, handle all the advertisement and the recruitment process. There are many benefits of hiring an apprentice including:

  • Bridging the skills gap, particularly those within technology as this helps to move a business forward.
  • Having a fresh perspective. Apprentices may not have work experience but they can offer a fresh perspective and new ideas that can help a business grow. Young people tend to have strong technology skills and they can use this knowledge to build a competitive advantage.
  • The cost of an apprenticeship pays for itself. Within a few years, or even sooner, apprentices can improve a company’s bottom line by improving effectivity and boosting productivity.
  • It’s a cost effective way to train staff or hire new staff.
  • GBS are there to support you and your apprentice from start to finish. We want both apprentice and employer to work together to help build one another’s skills and business.

“Overall, apprenticeships are a great way to provide life changing opportunities to young people and a cost effective way for local businesses to develop their workforce and bridge those skill gaps.”

Find out more about apprenticeship opportunities in Chesterfield at:

Print Digital Media and GBS Apprenticeships support the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 200 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Posted in Apprentice Town, Business, Celebrate Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Made in Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , , , ,

Step into the world of Creative, Digital and Technology

As a society we are becoming increasingly more reliant on creative and digital technology. The sector is rapidly growing and we are seeing career opportunities becoming widely available to those looking to step into the world of creative, digital and technology.

In fact, the number of businesses engaging with this type of employment has increased by 21% over the last five years in Chesterfield.

To explore the career opportunities and benefits of working in the sector, we talked to current apprentices from Chesterfield based businesses.


Jasmine Mowbray, is a Level 4 Marketing Executive at Print Digital Media.

Jasmine Mowbray 873x466

Jasmine explains why she chose to pursue a career in marketing: “I chose to delve into the marketing sector as this was the subject that I believed aligned best with my own skillset and personal interests. I’ve always been a creative yet business minded person, and marketing for me was the perfect mixture of the two!”

She chose to take the apprenticeship route with local training provider, GBS Apprenticeships, to get into the sector: “After leaving college, I had no idea where to start but I knew that I wanted to get straight into the workplace, whilst widening my knowledge and continue with my education. This is exactly what my apprenticeship has done for me, and I am able to earn, whilst I learn plus gain valuable work experience in the process.”

Jasmine added: “My plans for the future are to progress further into the marketing sector, however by then I will have gained a whole lot of transferable skills, so who knows where life will take me.”

Search for a marketing role like Jasmine’s by using our apprenticeship search tool here

Brandon Howard, Level 4 Marketing Executive at Vicar Lane Shopping Centre (MAPP)

First learning about apprenticeships at Chesterfield College in 2014, it wasn’t until recently when Brandon decided an apprenticeship in marketing was right for him.

Previously working in a bank, before becoming self-employed creating videos and other social media content, he wanted to expand on the knowledge he’d gained during his Level 3 Marketing course and apply it in a more practical environment.

He explained: “Learning about things in a classroom doesn’t compare to applying the knowledge you gain and putting it to use in a real environment. The apprenticeship is a nice mixture between learning and working and I feel like I’m helping the company, as well as my own career progression, move forward.”

Looking to the future, Brandon would like to progress in the business and, further down the line, start his own business.

Read more on Brandon’s story and his advice to becoming an apprentice here.

Information Technology and Computing

Charlie Ballington, Level 3 Infrastructure Technician at Addooco IT

Charlie Addooco

Charlie described the benefits of apprenticeships and how he used his apprenticeship as a platform to get into the sector: “I’ve always been interested in IT and Computing, so having studied both subjects at GCSE and A-Level it seemed like an absolute no-brainer to jump into an apprenticeship in the industry. One of the best bits is that my workload is so varied, so no two days are ever the same.”

He added: “I think choosing an apprenticeship is an easy and convenient path to get stuck into the sector straight away, especially in a practical industry such as IT or Engineering. I’m working along-side industry professionals every day and I have gained so much working experience that students in other forms of education simply don’t have.”

“A huge bonus to choosing an apprenticeship is that you’re likely to get offered a full-time placement after finishing your apprenticeship. I see myself continuing to work at Addooco through the higher-level apprenticeships.”

Like Jasmine, Charlie is also learning with local training provider, GBS Apprenticeships. You can find out more about Chesterfield’s training providers here.

Overall a career in creative, digital and technology can be exciting as the skills developed can be applied across almost all sectors, allowing the opportunity for you to engage with an area of work you find most interesting.

Explore the My Future careers platform to learn about the wide variety of career roles available in the sector.

Posted in Apprentice Town, Blog, Made in ChesterfieldTagged in ,

Junction Arts intern progresses into apprentice role

Chesterfield-based community organisation Junction Arts is continuing it’s growth, by promoting intern Martha Bramwell into a full-time Projects Apprentice role.

Martha is now aiming to become a full-time projects assistant with Junction Arts, following the completion of her apprenticeship.

Originally starting with Junction Arts back in December 2020, Martha was looking to gain hands on experience within community arts to support her Foundation Art Course at Chesterfield College.

However, Hannah Bowdler, Relationship Fundraiser at Junction Arts explained how much of an impact the young intern made since joining the organisation: “Martha has made a huge impact on the charity. During her time with us, she has worked with each of our team members getting a wider understanding of the running of a community arts charity. With each person, she has shared her enthusiasm and energy making Junction Arts a truly positive place to work.

“Her direct impact on the charity includes, redesigning our new office layout in West Studios, after we downsized. It is now a welcoming and practical workspace for us to use as a hub for all our projects and activities.

“Project wise, Martha has been a vital deputy during projects including the Chesterfield Lantern Parade. Supporting a project coordinator to run a busy and complicated celebration event whilst learning what’s needed to make a large scale project successful.”

Hannah added that she was delighted to see the continued growth of the charity: “It’s a very exciting time for the charity, whilst in our 45th year Martha has enabled Junctions Arts to take the next steps to increase our capacity. Through her supportive role within the charity and with this soon to increase, the types of projects and number of communities we can work with and support has really increased in the years leading out of the pandemic.”

Martha expressed her delight at being taken on in a permanent capacity: “I am absolutely ecstatic to be offered a permanent role with Junction Arts. I can honestly say receiving the Job offer from our Managing Director, Paul, was one of the happiest moments in my life. As I feel I have worked really hard and this area is something I am really passionate about and I’m so excited for my future with Junction arts.

“Every day I’m surrounded by a supportive team who have individually worked with me trying to give me the best experience possible over the last 15 months.

“I love having roles in events and being with local communities. In December, I played a part in creating Chesterfield’s first lantern parade. I had an overwhelming sense of pride seeing all the lanterns made by school children and members of the community walk together from Queen’s Park into the town centre and will treasure this memory forever. After a difficult couple of years, I’ve never seen so many smiling faces in one place. At 19 years old, I feel so grateful that my days are filled with creativity, exciting projects and great people.

“I love the community we have here in Chesterfield and I think that’s what makes chesterfield such a great place to live, work and enjoy! I am very excited to see Chesterfield in the future and how it will develop into a town with creativity in every corner and street.”

Hannah added that the charity is now looking to further support young talent in the region by taking on a new intern: “Within the next month, we will start the process for advertising for a 1 year Internship from July 2022. It is currently an unpaid role of up to 15 hours a week, depending on the applicates availability. Applicants are to be 18yrs +.

“The Intern is positioned at the centre of the charity, with opportunities to work with all the team, support on projects and events, access to training and involved in the planning of projects. This is an entry level role into the creative/community arts/charity sector.

“We are actively looking for funding to make this a 2 day paid for position, as an investment into young people and new careers within the area.

“As a busy charity, we are always looking for volunteers on our events and projects to help them run smoothly and have a positive impact on those to attend. More details of volunteering with Junction Arts can be found here:

Junction Arts supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 200 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Junction Arts at the Tapton Lock Festival

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Development, Featured, Home, Love Chesterfield, Made in Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , , ,

“The nature of roles in the construction industry are changing”

Chesterfield Property and Construction group member and Associate Director of Nineteen47 Sarah Wills, has penned her thoughts on the importance of skills and employability initiatives in the town during National Careers Week 2022.

The property and construction industry impacts on all of our lives.  It is an industry that creates and changes the places in which we live, work, communicate, play and exercise.

The professions across the industry are diverse and it is a fascinating space to be when all of those different facets of the built environment come together to create places.  That said, the workforce creating these places that we all interact with every day, should represent the populations we are creating places for and currently, there is a distinct lack of diversity across the sector.

The Chesterfield Property and Construction Group are aware of our role to raise the profile of the industry and encourage and support people from all backgrounds to enter the built environment disciplines.  The forum has supported some fantastic initiatives in Chesterfield including Made in Chesterfield which highlights and celebrates manufacturing, engineering, science and technology industries and careers in the town.

The My Future virtual platform is an exciting resource to showcase careers and apprenticeships available in the local area.  In addition, a significant amount of time is being spent on expanding a mentoring scheme to support young people across North Derbyshire who are interested in pursuing a career working in the built environment.

As an industry, we collectively need to shout about how rewarding it is to work within the sector and make young people or those retraining and changing careers aware that being involved can help shape real places around them; can help tackle climate change, can address housing shortage, can allow biodiversity to flourish alongside new development and can protect our heritage and our future.

With new methods of construction and sustainability at the heart of current directives, the nature of roles in the construction industry are changing and there is a significant opportunity to engage those who have previously felt it was not for them or not been aware of the broad range of job prospects available across the built and natural environment.

I am proud to be part of the property industry.  Awash with real, genuine and kind people who are actively trying to make a difference to Chesterfield and the places that make it special.  I hope that the property and construction industry will be a more accessible, obvious choice for a broader range of young people in the future.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Blog, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Property and Construction, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , , ,

Support for Chesterfield residents looking for work and learning opportunities

Local people are being encouraged to access support and advice from Derbyshire Careers Service as part of National Careers Week, taking place from today (Monday, 7th March 2022)

The team from Derbyshire County Council is encouraging residents to attend a drop-in session or register their interest in attending an online workshop.

There are weekly drop-in sessions with highly qualified local career coaches across the county and regular online workshops to support with interview skills, CV and searching for jobs, as well as specific support for over 50’s.

The sessions are free and open to anyone over the age of 19 and 18-year-olds who are not currently in education, employment, or training. Support is available year-round for anyone unable to attend during National Careers Week.

Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Councillor Alex Dale, said: “Ensuring local people have access to the support and advice they need to be successful in the workplace is really important to the Council.

“The Derbyshire Careers Service is a great resource for residents looking for advice on changing their career, preparing for interviews, or searching for jobs.

“I would encourage people to attend one of the workshops or drop-in sessions during National Careers Week or to reach out to the team if you need support in the future.”

For more information on virtual workshops, please visit – Careers workshops – Derbyshire County Council and for information on regular drop-in sessions and details about local career coaches visit – Careers service – Derbyshire County Council.

Chesterfield is the first town in the UK to declare itself an Apprentice Town – demonstrating its commitment to growing the future and careers of young people alongside business and the economy by retaining and developing young talent in the town in order to attract more employers to invest here.

Businesses throughout North Derbyshire employ a large number of apprentices and there are currently hundreds of vacancies available in and around Chesterfield. Find out more:


Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Business, Development, Featured, Home, Made in Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , , ,

Chesterfield businesses encouraged to submit entries for the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers 2022

Entries are now open for the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers for 2022, the annual ranking of England’s outstanding apprenticeship employers produced by the Department for Education.

The Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers celebrates England’s outstanding apprenticeship employers and helps future apprentices, parents and careers advisers to identify apprenticeship opportunities at the country’s leading employers.

First launched in 2020, the annual employer rankings have been developed by the Department of Education, in partnership with High Fliers Research, who independently assess and rank the nation’s top apprenticeship employers.

The rankings weren’t produced in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they’re back in 2022 to showcase the apprenticeship employers that have done the most to provide successful apprenticeships over the last 12 months.

And new for 2022, England’s top small and medium-sized employers are being featured for the first time in the Top 50 SME Apprenticeship Employers.

Employers will be recognised for their commitment to employing apprentices, their creation of new apprenticeships, the diversity of their new apprentices, and the number of apprentices who complete their apprenticeships and progress further with the employer.

Together, the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers and Top 50 SME Apprenticeship Employers will reveal which employers – large and small – are the country’s top apprenticeship employers for 2022.

Apprenticeship employers in every industry and employment sector – from accountancy, fashion and law, to teaching, nursing and engineering – are invited to enter for this year’s rankings.

The entry deadline is Friday 25th March and the new rankings will be announced during a special live broadcast in the summer of 2022.

More details about the rankings, how to prepare your entry, and the minimum entry requirements are available on the official entry website:

The new employer rankings for 2022 will be announced during a special live broadcast in the summer, celebrating the country’s leading employers of apprentices.

Nadhim Zahawi, Secretary of State for Education said: “The business benefits and career opportunities created by apprenticeships makes them a key feature of our commitment to level up skills and opportunity across the country.

“There are thousands of employers of all sizes and sectors that are providing individuals with the chance to learn new skills and have successful careers, while boosting their business’ success in the process.

These rankings will help everyone, from young people to career-changers, to make informed decisions about their future and unleash their full potential. I encourage all eligible employers to enter.”

Find out more about apprenticeships in Chesterfield:


Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Made in Chesterfield, Property and Construction, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , ,

UKATA Urges Construction Industry Employers to Ensure Apprentices are Asbestos Aware

This National Apprenticeship Week, a leading UK authority on asbestos training is urging employers to ensure asbestos awareness training is provided to all apprentices, to reduce the number of tradespeople contracting fatal asbestos related diseases.

Research has shown that younger people, if routinely exposed to asbestos fibres over time, are at greater risk of developing deadly asbestos related diseases than older workers.

Providing apprentices with key information about asbestos at an early stage will enable them to challenge poor work practices and protect themselves.

Craig Evans, Chief Operating Officer of the UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA), urged: “With the death toll from asbestos exposure over 5000 per year, UKATA is calling on all employers of apprentices working in trades, to ensure asbestos awareness training is conducted as soon as possible.”

Apprentice electricians, plumbers, carpenters, joiners, heating and ventilation engineers, painters and decorators are just some of the 1.3 million tradespeople that are at risk from exposure to the killer building material. And the facts are startling:

• Asbestos kills around 20 tradespeople in the UK every week, making it the single biggest cause of work-related deaths (
• Electricians are almost 16 times more likely than the general population to develop the killer lung disease mesothelioma in their lifetime. (Occupational, domestic and environmental mesothelioma risks in the British population: a case-control study.)
• Asbestos exposure kills 4 plumbers every week (Health & Safety Executive)
• The UK has the highest death rate from mesothelioma in the world. The risk is highest in people who were exposed to asbestos before age 30. (Institute of Cancer Research)

Despite the well-publicised health risks posed by asbestos, a 2017 survey conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) of 500 tradespeople showed that less than a third were aware of the correct ways to deal with and handle asbestos in the workplace.

Craig explained: “It’s never too early to provide asbestos awareness training to your workforce. The statistics show that the earlier in a person’s career they receive the appropriate training, then the better protected they are against developing asbestos related cancers in later life.

“A half day awareness course could prevent them from contracting a deadly disease and also ensure they don’t expose others to the dangers of asbestos.”

For employers whose apprentices are yet to receive asbestos awareness training, UKATA advises that they access UKATA approved asbestos awareness training, either with a local provider or online.

“Asbestos awareness training is low cost and readily available. I urge all employers to book their apprentices on these half-day courses and provide them with a safe foundation for a long and safe career within the construction industry,” added Craig.

UKATA approved asbestos awareness courses are available both online and in training centres throughout the UK. Alternatively, the training provider may deliver on site.

To find a UKATA approved asbestos training provider near you, visit or for free advice call our team on 01246 824437.

UKATA supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 200 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Business, Development, Home, Property and Construction, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , ,

Conference hears how delivery of post-16 green and digital skills a priority to support area’s economic growth

Green and digital skills have been identified as a priority to support economic growth in Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Speaking at the sixth annual Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Skills and Employability Conference (9 February 2022), Fiona Baker Head of People and Skills at D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership said: “We lag behind the rest of the UK in terms of productivity, and this is because our workforce doesn’t have the right skills.

“There has been an exponential increase in employer demand for digital skills recently.  Businesses and education and training providers must work together to ensure that young people are equipped with the right skills to meet the local growth agenda.”

With more than 16,000 students in North Derbyshire set to gain their GCSE and A level qualifications in the next five years and thousands of jobs expected to be created following investment in Staveley, the free conference brought together business leaders and the education community to address the future employability and skills of young people.

The conference followed the Department for Education’s announcement last year that it plans to reform post-16 technical education and training to support people to develop the skills needed to get good jobs and improve national productivity.

Organised by Chesterfield Borough Council and Destination Chesterfield, with support from D2N2 Careers Hub – Derbyshire North, the conference also heard from businesses and education and training providers in the local area.

Nick Catt, Managing Director of Weightron Bilanciai who spoke at the conference urged local providers to work together, saying: “Schools, colleges and businesses need to engage with each other to identify the skills needed in the economy. Having a generic approach to skills doesn’t work as every local economy is different.”

Julie Richards, Principal and CEO of the Chesterfield College Group, welcomed the proposed changes to post-16 education saying: “”The need has never been greater to work in partnership to provide our young people with post 16 options which ensure everyone in our society has opportunities to develop at all levels. We must meet their needs, and the needs of our economy now and in the future.”

Cllr Amanda Serjeant, Deputy Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council and vice chair of Destination Chesterfield added: “The conference has highlighted that one in 4 young people fall out of their post-16 education choice at age 17. We must ensure that young people get the right information at 16 and that they make an informed decision to take up the correct training provision for their own future. In turn this will help ensure they get the right training to work in highly skilled jobs which will contribute to a thriving local economy and provide a high quality of life for local people.

“It is crucial that we look to the future and the skills we will need to transition to a low carbon economy in Chesterfield. Ensuring that we have the right mix of skills to support a sustainable future is key to mitigating the effects of the climate crisis. It was great to hear from employers and training providers about how they will be helping to support this transition and providing the skills needed to support a low carbon, high value local economy.”

Around 100 people attended the conference at Speedwell Rooms in Staveley. The annual conference aims to strengthen links between education providers and local businesses to ensure that school leavers are work ready and have the skills required by businesses in the area. As well as representatives from the business community and skills and education providers, students from Springwell Community College, which is based in Staveley, also joined the conference.

Emily Carter, Operational Careers Hub Lead at D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership said “For young people, meeting employers and experiencing different workplaces is a key element in helping them find their best next step.  We are delighted that local cornerstone employers, strategic partners of the D2N2 Careers Hub and Careers & Enterprise Company joined the conference to share best practice, and a huge thanks to the young people from Springwell Community College who facilitated table discussions.

With a regeneration programme currently underway in Staveley and thousands of jobs expected to be created over the next few years, Ivan Fomin, Chair of Staveley Town Deal commented: “It’s important that businesses, the council and education and training providers work together to make sure these opportunities are fully realised for local people. The Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Employability and Skills Conference is the first step in making this happen.”

Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Love Chesterfield, Made in Chesterfield, Property and Construction, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , ,

Chesterfield MP congratulates local construction apprentices

The Chesterfield MP and Shadow Minister, Toby Perkins, has praised the work of local construction apprentices during a visit to William Davis Homes’ Skylarks development.

Mr Perkins, Shadow Minister for Skills and Further Education, presented certificates to bricklayer Kieran Moulds and joiners Joshua Ford and Dominic Heardman.

The trio completed their apprenticeships with the house builder at the development in Dunston. All three live in Chesterfield, attended Chesterfield College and will continue to work at Skylarks in their chosen trades.

Mr Perkins was joined by Amanda Serjeant, Deputy Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council and representatives from Chesterfield College. Both organisations worked with William Davis Homes to create these local apprenticeships opportunities.

Gary Long is the Apprenticeship Manager at William Davis Homes. He said: “It’s rewarding to see these three completing their apprenticeships after what has been a difficult couple of years for them. They have seen their training disrupted because of the pandemic and I’m proud of the resilience and commitment they have shown despite this challenge.

“We were also pleased to work with Chesterfield College and the Borough Council to offer our apprenticeships to young people in the Chesterfield area looking to build a career in construction. Over the years, a large part of our workforce has been built on apprenticeships and we aim to continue to create these opportunities.”

The MP for Chesterfield, Toby Perkins, said: “I am delighted to present these apprentices with their certificates and congratulate them on their hard work and achievement. I also want to thank William Davis Homes, Chesterfield Borough Council and Chesterfield College for working together to create these positions and help these apprentices with their skills development and career progression. This cooperation by local authorities, providers and businesses is great to see.

“Recent research proves that our nation’s economic growth is being held back because too few young people are being attracted into the Construction industry. It is estimated that we need to train as many as 40,000 more apprentices every year to keep pace with demand and retirements from the industry. We need many more apprenticeship opportunities so I am delighted to herald the work of these young people today.

“Skills and retraining should be a vital part of our economic recovery and high-quality apprenticeships are central to this. These apprentices now have a foothold in the construction industry, which they can use to build a career in many different directions.”

Councillor Amanda Serjeant added: “Developing the skills young people have is vital to ensuring they have the ability to access career opportunities created by investment in Chesterfield. Our local labour clauses help ensure that investment creates these local employment opportunities and prioritises local suppliers.

“The progress of the apprentices on this site is just one of many successful examples of this policy in action. We can help create the opportunities with investors and developers but it is the hard work of these apprentices that has ensured they achieve their qualifications and developed the skills they need to be successful. I want to congratulate them all on this fantastic achievement.”

This week marks National Apprenticeships Week in the UK, running between 7th-13th February. The week is being marked in Chesterfield with the town’s Employability and Skills Conference on Wednesday, 9th February at The Speedwell Rooms in Staveley.

The conference will focus on the future skills and green growth agenda and examine the current recruitment challenges that employers face. A selection of local skills providers based in Chesterfield & North Derbyshire will also be showcased in an exhibition at the event.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Home, Made in Chesterfield, Property and Construction, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , , ,

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