Meet potential employers at host of events during Apprenticeship Week

Mayor of Bedford Dave Hodgson (back row, left) with Kathryn Jack, Apprenticeship Ambassador (back row, centre), Janet Bishop, CILEx HR Manager, (front row, left) and apprentices and former apprentices employed at the CILEx Group.
Mayor of Bedford Dave Hodgson (back row, left) with Kathryn Jack, Apprenticeship Ambassador (back row, centre), Janet Bishop, CILEx HR Manager, (front row, left) and apprentices and former apprentices employed at the CILEx Group.

The spotlight is on apprenticeships and opportunities next week with Bedford College hosting a number of events to help young people into work.

Apprenticeship Week runs from Monday, March 3 until Friday, March 7 with a chance to meet employers and college staff.

The college works with major employers such as Charles Wells, Bedford Hospital, Lockheed Martin, Vauxhall, Bedfordshire Fire Service and hundreds of small and medium sized enterprises throughout Bedfordshire.

Its Central Beds land-based learning Shuttleworth College trains young people for careers in agriculture and animal welfare across the UK.

It also has vehicle and plumbing training centres in Kempston and IT Learning Centres in four major towns in the area.

College staff will be talking to young people and employers at various events during Apprenticeship Week and Vauxhall will be giving presentations throughout.

The events include:

March 3

Bedford Hospital Swannery Restaurant – open invitation to the public to all to hear about apprenticeships from 8.30am – 3pm.

March 4

Jobs Hub Bedford speed dating 10am – 3pm with Paige Dearman Apprenticeship Ambassador.

Bedford College talk to electrical students

Central Milton Keynes Apprenticeships Fair at Spot Café, The Point 1pm – 3pm

March 6

Bodyflight near Milton Ernest is the venue to which schools are invited to take students to learn more about apprenticeships. This will include workshops and fun events. The event is being run by Bedford Borough Council.

Following A-Levels, Apprenticeship Ambassador Paige Dearman decided she wanted to be ‘earning while learning’ and applied for a post as an apprentice via

She was taken on as part of the Business Development Team (BDT) led by Gina Bubbins, to learn about sales and securing customer relationships.

Paige said: “The college is a really big organisation so I meet lots of new people and work with employers externally.”

Gina said: “The college spends much time helping employers to take on apprentices and so it is important that we lead by example.”

Paige will be talking to other would-be apprentices during Apprenticeship Week at Bodyflight on Thursday, March 6.

>> Kempston based employer, the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx), is also supporting Apprenticeship Week.

CILEx employed two new business administration apprentices in addition to the two apprentices already working at the group.

Janet Bishop, HR manager at the group said: “Being a large employer in Kempston we are really proud of our commitment to developing local talent by enabling people to get into the workplace. We have employed apprentices for more than three years and all those who have completed their apprenticeship qualifications have gone on to secure permanent jobs at the company.”

Janet is also an Apprenticeship Ambassador for Mayor of Bedford, Dave Hodgson’s ‘2016 in 2016’ Apprenticeship Challenge: a commitment that Bedford borough would see at least 2016 apprenticeships created per year by 2016. Janet’s role is to encourage other local employers to step up to the Apprenticeship Challenge.

Kathryn Jack, 19, completed her Business Administration Apprenticeship with the CILEx Group last year and is now employed as a customer advisor. She is also an Apprenticeship Ambassador for the ‘2016 in 2016’ project and she will visit schools and people in the borough and talk about the benefits of becoming an apprentice.

Kathryn said: “I left school after my GCSEs as I knew I wanted to work and start developing my career. Completing my Advanced Apprenticeship in Business Administration has been such a great experience and to end up with a full-time, permanent job is fantastic.”

Mayor of Bedford, Dave Hodgson said: “We’re ambitious for apprenticeships in Bedford Borough, as our ‘2016 in 2016’ Apprenticeship Challenge shows. If we are to achieve 2016 new apprenticeships per year by 2016 it will need all partners, including employers, to show real commitment to this goal. The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives is setting a great example in this respect, and I wish all of their apprentices the very best for a successful apprenticeship and a long and rewarding future career.”

CILEx is the awarding body for Legal Services Apprenticeships which were launched in England and Wales last year.

Legal services providers, including both international and high-street law firms, have welcomed the opportunity to employ and develop in-house talent via the Legal Services Apprenticeship route.

On completion, the apprentices receive nationally recognised qualifications and can go on to study further qualifications to become Chartered Legal Executive lawyers.

CILEx is exhibiting at the National Apprenticeship Week event at Bodyflight in Clapham on Thursday, March 6. The event is open to members of the public aged 15 to 19 and to book a place, call the Jobs Hub on 01234 223510.

CILEx will also be hosting a twitter chat on Tuesday, March 4 from 5pm to 7pm, follow #NAWlegal or @CILExLawyers to join in.