In Exeter and the Heart of Devon, National Apprenticeship Week 2015 started with an Apprenticeship Summit. The summit, held in the very special surroundings of the farmhouse at River Cottage HQ, got underway as the fire crackled and brought some cheer to what was a very grey and misty day. River Cottage apprentices met with the delegates and brought additional delights of their own creation to add to the occasion.
Following a welcome from Chris Griffin from River Cottage delegates got down to work. Briefings from Tony Skeel, (Skills Funding Agency), Cathie Kessell, (Careers South West) and Nigel Howells (SERIO) set the scene. Mark Shepherd, Chair of the Exeter & Heart of Devon Employment and Skills Board then chaired a round table discussion of councillors, council officers and representatives from City & Guilds, HOSW LEP and Springboard UK to explore ways to create a local World Class Workforce with a special focus on Apprenticeships.
Ideally apprenticeships are jobs with sustained and substantial training progressing to future-focused careers. Discussions included improving the perception of apprenticeships, over-coming the barriers for potential apprentices and employers, and working together to bring about change. Mark Shepherd said “Summit output exceeded expectations”.
Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall welcomed guests to an evening apprenticeship event in the barn and Chefs School following the summit. More in-depth information about the summit and the evening event will be posted soon!