- 24/02/11 - Tessa Munt MP Finds out About Apprenticeships
Tessa Munt, MP for the Wells Constituency, visited Strode College during National Apprenticeship Week (February 7 - 11) to find out how the College supports apprenticeships. She met Strode Principal James Staniforth, and Deputy Principal Shirley Theedom, and talked to some apprentices, their employers and their College tutors.
Ms Munt said: "Strode College's Apprenticeship Challenge - aiming to create 200 new apprenticeships in Somerset in just 100 days - is a fantastic initiative, involving young people and local businesses to see what apprenticeships can do for them.
"Somerset is a vibrant area, brimming with excellent companies both large and small, and the West Country punches above its weight nationally, with the greatest proportion of small and medium-sized businesses. The quality of our local companies offers a real opportunity for Somerset to generate not only more, but the very best, apprenticeships for local young people.
"Employers benefit from having cost-effective recruitment and are safe in the knowledge that their apprentices are being mentored and guided by colleges like Strode. Young people who want to earn money can do so, as well as learning new skills and gaining qualifications and professional experience at the same time.
"In recent years, the Government has placed great emphasis on students doing A Levels and going on to University. This is not for everyone and young people shouldn't feel pressured or pigeon-holed along the academic only routes. I welcome the challenge set by Strode - it really shows how valued and worthwhile apprenticeships are - for both employers and young people. Initiatives like this help reinvigorate public perceptions of vocational training and routes into work."
Photo - Hairdressing apprentice Caryn Stills showed Tessa Munt the Strode College hair salon where she trains one day a week for her Level 2 Hairdressing Apprenticeship. Her employer Kate Hathaway of Tranquillity Hair in Street, enjoyed meeting her former teachers and revisiting the salon where she previously trained as an apprentice. (From left: Strode Hairdressing Course Managers and Tutors Gill Tincknell and Sandra Hellier, Tessa Munt MP, Hairdressing Tutor Paula Bailey, apprentice Caryn Stills and her employer Kate Hathaway.)