Writtle College helps drive economic growth through record number of apprentices

March 2015

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

With a strong focus and continuous commitment to supporting the future of the land-based sector, Writtle College has generated a record number of new apprentices this year.

The College is on target to hit 200 apprentices in training during 2014/2015.

Writtle College offers Apprenticeships in Agriculture, Animal Care (including Dog Grooming), Environmental Conservation, Equine Studies, Floristry, Horticulture and Veterinary Nursing.

The scheme provides a mix of on- and off-the-job training, at the same time as gaining a nationally-recognised qualification.

Vicky Hitcham, Employer Engagement Manager at Writtle College, said: “Apprenticeships offer students the opportunity to study for a qualification at Writtle College while gaining vital practical experience within industry at the same time – and getting paid!

"The employers we work with find Apprenticeships a valuable way to grow and enrich their business. They benefit from gaining a motivated member of staff who is keen to develop their skills."

Working in conjunction with Writtle College, Ilford-based dog grooming company, Paw-Fect, are huge advocates for the Apprenticeship scheme and a fantastic example of how it can benefit companies of all sizes and support them to grow their business.

The business works with the Writtle College Apprenticeships team and has expanded the company over the past two years by recruiting two Writtle College apprentices: 20-year-old Kirsty Leeder, an Advanced Apprentice; and 19-year-old Carla Garey, both from Dagenham.

Following on from last year’s success of winning at the National Apprenticeship Awards, Paw-Fect are celebrating again after further success at the Apprenticeship4England Awards, this time gaining a highly commended award.

Stacey Ismael, owner of Paw-fect, said: “Being a part of the Apprenticeship scheme has been a wonderful experience professionally and personally.

"I first hired Kirsty two years ago and, with her dedication and hard work, together we have been able to build my business. I was able to then recruit Carla as an apprentice last year, who has equally been a fantastic asset to the business. I am looking to add a third apprentice this summer."

Mrs Ismael adds: “The growth of my business is a true reflection to how successful the Apprenticeship scheme has been for us. Being able to train enthusiastic young people, has enabled me to have staff that understand my expectations and offer the service I except, resulting in new and repeat customers, allowing the business to grow quickly.

“It is my belief that an Apprenticeship programme is the perfect solution for staffing a micro business and I am extremely proud that I have offered two young people the opportunity to train for their chosen career. It has been a joy to see them grow as individuals in the workplace.

“I'm also very thankful to Writtle College and could not have done it all without their Apprenticeship team. They've been so helpful and have guided me through the scheme step-by-step and supported me with recruitment."

To find out more about Apprenticeships, please visit www.writtle.ac.uk/apprenticeships