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Cllr Moira Gaw confirmed she was currently employed by Activate Learning who were a witness as part of the review.
Summary of actions and events
The Chair summarised the information provided by witnesses to the panel and highlighted the key information which will be included in the final report:
· The panel were grateful that witnesses gave their time especially during a pandemic.
· Apprenticeships were available at any age to retrain and upskill
· There were currently 55 Apprentices employed at Bracknell Forest Council
· Personal relationships were considered important to successful apprenticeships and Apprentices valued the support they received
· Local businesses and apprenticeship providers had a lot of enthusiasm for partnership working on apprenticeships.
· Overall there was a lot of support for increasing apprenticeship opportunities in Berkshire.
· Some of the challenges faced by apprentices included balancing work with studying but they valued the learning opportunity overall
· The expertise, passion and breath of knowledge of the witnesses were praised.
Following discussion, it was proposed that the following recommendations are included as part of the report from the Education, Skills and Growth Overview and Scrutiny Panel:
1. That the Executive works with Apprenticeship pathway providers to ensure our young people aged between 16-21 have the best opportunities and outcomes.
2. That the Executive adopts an Apprenticeship policy which sets out expectations around pay, terms and conditions and that the Education, Skills and Growth Panel is consulted on the draft policy and for this to be completed by December 2021 to coronavirus capacity limitations.
3. That the Executive promotes Apprenticeships externally and internally by producing a promotional video which highlights the benefit of becoming an apprentice, growing businesses, and supporting the economy by March 2022 to coronavirus capacity limitations.
4. That the Executive reviews the current Apprenticeship webpages and updates the content to include more information, links to job vacancy websites and information about what to expect from an apprenticeship by December 2021 to coronavirus capacity limitations.
5. That the Executive investigates whether it would be possible to facilitate a mentoring scheme between large businesses and small/medium businesses to encourage more apprenticeship opportunities by March 2022 to coronavirus capacity limitations.
6. That the Executive develops ongoing partnerships across Berkshire to provide a united gateway of support and guidance to businesses enabling them to take better advantage of the apprenticeship levy.