employability

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 , , , , , , ,

Top tips for taking on an apprentice in Chesterfield

Hiring an apprentice can bring a wealth of benefits to your business from improved productivity to improvements in the quality of products and services.

This blog explores the top tips for taking on an apprentice from Chesterfield based apprentice providers. Apprentice providers offer support to develop your workforce by hiring an apprentice and offering apprenticeship training.

1. Apprentices are employees that are learning

Katy Baker, Head of Quality and Curriculum at Essential Site Skills, explained:

“New apprentices are in training from day one giving them the opportunities to understand their role and your business. The aim is that in the long term they will become an integral and important employee to the business.

Don’t hire an apprentice expecting them to know everything in your industry or field, they need regular support and mentoring within their role, so ensure you understand what an apprenticeship is all about. Learning with a highly skilled apprenticeship provider along with in-company training and mentoring will support that individual into becoming an important asset to your business.”

2. Conduct research to find the right training provider for you

Tom Fearn, Recruitment Manager at Apprentice Team, said:

“Apprenticeships allow businesses to develop and expand whilst also upskilling current employees as well. Prior to recruiting an apprentice, make sure you conduct appropriate research to find the correct training provider and consider information such as Ofsted grades, achievements and feedback from other employers that is available on the gov website.”

current apprentices in Chesterfield

3. Help fill your skills gap by developing new talent through the recruitment of an apprentice

Anne Wright, Managing Director at Workpays, suggested:

“Help fill your skills gap by developing new talent through the recruitment of an apprentice. Work with the training provider to tailor the learning to meet the skills needs of the business whilst developing the apprentice to gain a beneficial qualification.

When hiring an apprentice, you should consider offering a mentor or coach to help this individual develop and thrive. This person should be a positive ambassador and may have done something similar themselves previously.  This will greatly add value to the apprentice’s journey and increase the chances of retaining them as a valuable employee of the future.”

4. Show your commitment to the apprentices learning

Tom Malpass, Business Development Manager – Apprenticeships at Buxton and Leek College, explained:

“Make sure to show your commitment to their learning and how you know it will be mutually beneficial to both the apprentice and the business.”

Become an apprentice in Chesterfield

5. Consider what skills gap you have and the role the apprentice will carry out

James Lund, Head of Business and Development at Chesterfield College Group, provided us with his top tip:

“Take the time to think about the skills gaps you have and the role the apprentice will carry out. This will help to make sure you are recruiting the right person to benefit your business. It is also important to consider how your organisation will mentor the apprentice in the workplace to make sure you can develop the apprentice to their full potential, giving you the biggest return on your investment. Your apprenticeship provider should be able to support you through this process.”

6. Work with a training provider to find the right apprentice candidate for your business

Scott Tait, Business Development Manager at GBS Apprenticeships, said:

“Work closely with your training provider to make sure they are aware of the type of candidate that would flourish and succeed within your business setting. An apprentice needs to thrive in the right environment with the right business for their career and equally a business needs to have the right apprentice in order to grow and support the needs of the business.”

Resources and Information

7. Make sure to showcase any progression opportunities

Roy Barton, Academy Manager at One to One Training, advised:

“For me, it would be all about progression. What career can the apprentice expect to move into and what are the longer term opportunities? If an apprentice is offered a choice of gaining a qualification but limited in opportunities to progress beyond this with one employer, and another has longer term strategy and vision, then it is likely the apprentice will choose the one with more opportunity.”

8. Invest time into your apprentice to reap the rewards in the future

Paul Burton, Head of Apprenticeships at DBC Training, explained:

“Make sure that you have the availability to invest time into your apprentice. Ensure to remain patient during the early stages and check your apprentice understands everything. For a lot of apprentices, this could be their first full-time job and therefore require additional attention. If you invest the time at the start, you will reap the rewards in the future.”

Find out more about hiring an apprentice and the funding which is available here.

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

Conference hears how digital upskilling and a human-first approach is key to developing resilient post pandemic future workforce

With demand for digital skills increasing by 36% in the last 12 months, digital upskilling in schools, colleges and businesses will be key to Chesterfield thriving post pandemic. That was the message from leaders at this year’s Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Employability and Skills Conference.

At the virtual, live-streamed conference, it was revealed that the pandemic has brought digital skills to the forefront of work and education and opened up a number of exciting new employment opportunities in the low carbon economy.

Leaders speaking at the fifth annual conference stressed that collaboration between education providers and businesses is key to young people taking advantage of these opportunities post 16 and thriving in the workforce post pandemic.

Speaking at the conference Rachel Quinn, Head of People and Skills at D2N2 LEP said: “Covid has given us the impetus to push forward to use and develop technology to connect people and work better. However, we have to make sure that everyone can participate and make sure the connectivity exists and that everyone has the digital access and skills they need to succeed and thrive. Getting that connectivity right, for the economy and through into our education system is absolutely essential.”

Chesterfield College reported growth in the demand for digital skills in the area and has invested in a digital skills centre. James Lund, Interim Director of Sales at The Chesterfield College Group said: “Apprentice recruitment is starting to return to pre-Covid levels, and we anticipate digital skills being a growth area over the next two to three years. Similarly, we have also seen a growth in demand for apprenticeships in health and social care and construction.”

To ensure young people maximise the opportunities, headline speaker, author and former headteacher, Richard Gerver urged the conference to “look to our inner child in order to succeed and thrive in a post pandemic workforce.”

He said: “By changing our mindset and encouraging people to meet change and uncertainty with curiosity, awe, wonder and questioning rather than fear, young people will see the opportunities rather than obstacles.”

He warned of the long-term impact of change and uncertainty on the self-esteem of young people and urged people to remember the importance of softer skills alongside technical skills.

Mr Gerver added: “Covid has been the most horrific experience in most people’s lived experience but it won’t be the first or last time we have to cope with profound levels of change in our personal lives. All too often our reflex when dealing with a problem is to go direct to the technical or strategic solution, but we need to understand the human first and
that has never been more true than it is now, particularly when thinking about our future workforce.

“Dialogue between educators and businesses is more important than ever to support young people with career development. Real partnership is the key to success.”

Councillor Amanda Serjeant, Deputy Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council and Vice Chair of Destination Chesterfield reassured the conference that the council is committed to partnership working in order to ensure the future workforce have the post pandemic skills required by local employers.
She explained: “We’re not standing still in Chesterfield. We and our partners recognise that with change comes innovation and with challenge comes resilience. Building resilience and raising the aspirations of future generations is a priority for Chesterfield.

“Our aim is to continue to strengthen links between education providers and local businesses to ensure that our school and college leavers have the skills to access career opportunities available in the borough.”

The annual, free Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Employability and Skills Conference is organised by Chesterfield Borough Council, D2N2 North Derbyshire Careers Hub, and Destination Chesterfield, and is open to businesses, schools and education providers from across North Derbyshire.

Chesterfield businesses that wish to work with the Careers Hub, provide work experience or workplace visit opportunities, recruit apprentices or upskill existing employees, are encouraged to get in touch with Emily Williams, Skills Delivery Officer at Chesterfield Borough Council by emailing Emily.Williams@Chesterfield.gov.uk or calling 01246 959717.

 

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

Global inspirational education speaker to headline town’s 2021 Skills and Employability Conference

One of the most inspirational leaders of his generation, award winning speaker, author and former Long Eaton headteacher Richard Gerver, will headline this year’s Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Skills and Employability Conference.

Passionate about collaboration between businesses and education, Richard will address the profound challenges that now face young people and educators at the conference, which is being held virtually on Wednesday 10 February from 8.30am – 10.00am.

He will bring his own experience of turning around a failing primary school 10 years ago, to highlight the need to radically transform the education system from its current highly prescriptive environment to one of flexibility, to enable more young people to get the jobs they aspire to.

Usually speaking on the international stage and working with governments and global corporations including Microsoft and Google, the pandemic has seen Richard locked down which gave the event organisers the opportunity to secure him for the virtual conference.

Richard commented: “Schools are under immense pressure right now so I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak to educators and businesses in my home county of Derbyshire and bring my insight and experience to the conference which I hope will provide support and reassurance during this unprecedented time.”

He added: “It is fantastic to be in Chesterfield, albeit it virtually. I know the town well and am a regular visitor to Queen’s Park through my work with Derbyshire County Cricket Club.”

At the virtual conference Richard will also be joined in the speaker line-up by Rachel Quinn, Head of People and Skills at D2N2 LEP who leads on D2N2’s People and Skills strategy and programmes and policy relating to careers, employability, social inclusion and inclusive growth.

The event, which is free to attend, is organised by Chesterfield Borough Council, D2N2 Enterprise Advisor Network, CEC and Destination Chesterfield, and is open to businesses, schools and education providers in North Derbyshire.

Councillor Amanda Serjeant, Deputy Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “It’s vital that young people and businesses can access all the information they need to plan for their future, and the Employability and Skills Conference is always an important source of information for them. We are delighted to be joined by Richard as keynote speaker at this year’s event. His experiences in educational change make him the ideal speaker after the last year, I look forward to hearing his insights and I’m sure he will be a real hit with other attendees.”

To secure your place at the Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Employability and Skills Conference, please visit https://www.chesterfield.co.uk/events/chesterfield-north-derbyshire-employability-skills-conference/

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

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