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West Berkshire Business Insider Update: West Berkshire Training Consortium

Who we are

SINCE 1983 West Berkshire Training Consortium has been providing high-quality apprenticeships and training to organisations and young people across West Berkshire and beyond, writes Lizzie Booth.

I am very proud to work in the Great Start programme which is aimed at supporting young people into employment.

Lizzie Booth
Lizzie Booth

Our starting point is the learners’ aspirations and goals for the future and we seek to improve their confidence and self-esteem by giving them the skills they need for today’s workplace.

A vital part of this aim is a work experience placement which gives them the opportunity to gain new skills and knowledge in the industry they hope to work in.

We are currently working with 15 brilliant local businesses and organisations who have provided a work placement opportunity for a young person (16 to 18 years) to gain some real life experience within their preferred sector.

We would love to work with more!

Why they do it

Feedback from employers has been overwhelmingly positive since I joined WBTC as work-placement coordinator in February.

Here are some of the reasons the employers told me that they choose to be involved:

Some employers, such as Barry Eldred from BGM Heating and Plumbing Ltd, are always on the lookout for new talent to help grow their business.

These employers find work experience a helpful way of seeing if a young person is the right fit for their team before offering paid work or an apprenticeship.

Georgina Mould, director at Sumo Flowers, said: “I think it’s important to support and nurture upcoming young people to carry on our trade.

“It gives them the experience of knowing what a workplace involves. It gives great satisfaction in seeing the young people grow with confidence and see their talents grow.”

Having a student for work experience “made me think about what I do and why I do it”, said John Black, information security manager at West Berkshire Council.

And Mandy Sylvia, director at Pageant Party, said: “I like to offer work experience, because my shop is a unique environment, for those who don’t fit the usual mould and need a similar person to bring them out of their shell.

“It is also a great opportunity to show the younger generation the importance of small businesses and gain skills for other retail environments.

“I also learn a few things from them too!”

Could you help?

If you could consider offering a young person a placement with your organisation then I’d love to hear from you.

Please email elizabeth@wbtc-uk.com or call on (01635) 35975 with any questions you may have and I’ll be happy to answer them.

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