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Union and employers back traineeship programme

1st January 2016

One of the biggest employers in East Yorkshire and one of the UK’s leading trade unions have given their backing to HETA’s traineeship scheme which aims to help young people bridge the gap between school and apprenticeships.

Cranswick Plc and the GMB union were joined by the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in endorsing the scheme which was showcased to employers at an event at the Hull training centre.

Kishor Tailor, the LEP’s Chief Executive, said the scheme gives all of the partners an opportunity to support businesses in the Humber region by improving employability and producing young people who are ready for work.

He said: 

We are in a global competition when we are trying to bid for new business in our patch so let’s work together and make it happen.

The GMB says the traineeship programme is a key tool in helping employers cope with current and future skills shortages.

Craig Stuart, the GMB’s Regional Educational and Health and Safety Officer, said a drive to encourage businesses to set up apprenticeships had its roots in a successful bid to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills for money for the Union Learning Fund.

He said:

The HETA model is non-exploitative and is a gold standard that organisations envy. Hopefully other organisations will see that and share the same model. This is a key partnership that will hopefully secure brighter and better futures for people in this area.

A key feature of the programme is the level of communication with employers. Attendance, punctuality and discipline are among the attributes which are emphasised, and there is even an outward bound element to promote team-building.

During the six-month course trainees spend one day a week with an employer and then complete a three-week work placement. Many secure apprenticeships with employers before the end of their programme.

Amy Stubbs, Training Personnel Supervisor at Preston, near Hull, for the £1 billion-turnover Cranswick Plc, has a number of HETA apprentices within a workforce of 1,500.

She said:

We wanted to improve communication so we started looking at bringing our apprentices to Cranswick every Friday to meet our team and start building a relationship. They need that exposure to the workplace and this model fits incredibly well so we will be discussing it further and looking at adopting it in other areas of our business.

Mr Tailor referred to the challenges facing Hull and the Humber and urged the GMB, HETA and employers to build on their work while the LEP continues its efforts to change perceptions of the region.

He said:

Businesses tell us that skills and employability are big issues. If you can’t get people to turn up on time and show motivation they are not going to get the jobs. This collaboration between HETA and the GMB addresses that.

James McIntosh, Business Development and Marketing Manager at HETA, said:

We are working with the GMB to promote awareness of our traineeship scheme and of the young people. We also want to help the GMB’s representatives who go out to talk to employers abut apprenticeships. This partnership will help us grow our number of client companies and get more trainees into employment.
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