Tag Archives: ECC

‘Tap into Top Talent’ Breakfast

Speakers at Tap into Top Talent with Torch
Mark Shepherd (Waitrose), Paul Gale (Interserve), Simon McGinnes (Univeristy of Exeter), Fiona Parsons (SWW) & Richard Daulton (SFA) with the Apprenticeship Torch

The Government have recently announced significant changes to Apprenticeships which will take effect in 2017. The changes are quite complex and far-reaching but the most prominent message is a commitment to ‘3 million quality apprenticeship starts in England over this parliament’.

The Business Breakfast

The Exeter and Heart of Devon Employment and Skills Board’s ‘Tap into Top Talent’ Business Breakfast on Friday 11th March was an opportunity for local employers to find out more about the benefits of ‘growing your own’ talent. Some employers had already benefitted from employing Intermediate and Advanced level apprentices and wanted to explore Higher or Graduate apprenticeships. Others new to apprenticeships and faced with the possibility of a levy wish to make the most of the changes. Whilst other businesses were particularly eager to find out about the new BSc Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeships at the University of Exeter. The event included presentations from successful apprentice employers and the opportunity for a question and answer session with an expert panel.  The event was part of the National Apprenticeship Week 2016 and kindly supported by Santander Corporate & Commercial Bank, at Pynes Hill, Exeter.

The Apprenticeship Torch

The ‘Apprenticeship Torch’ designed and made by apprentices to  symbolise the passing on of knowledge made an appearance. The Torch was en route to an event at The Shard in London on Monday and then back to Exeter for the Apprentice Expo 2016 on Tuesday 15th March. Employers took the opportunity for a photo call with The Torch and to make pledges to make apprentices part of their workforce in the future.

Apprenticeships move with the times

Many apprenticeships today reflect the emerging sectors in the economy including information technology. However, as far back as the 1500s apprenticeships in England were developed around traditional trades such as paper-making and printing. Later in the late nineteenth century apprenticeships encompassed emerging sectors such as engineering and shipbuilding. Apprenticeships have always moved with the times. Now the Government plans a series to develop apprenticeships for a new era of increased productivity. It intends to make significant changes in 2017 which are likely to include:

  • Employers with a pay-bill of at least £3,000,000 will pay the Apprenticeship Levy at 0.5% of their pay-bill through HMRC.
  • Employers will be eligible for an allowance of up to £15,000 towards apprenticeship course fees. This funding will be managed through the Digital Apprenticeship Service and is made on a £2 Government : £1 employer contribution basis and has a defined life-time after which it will be lost.
  • Public Sector employers employing more than 250 people will be required to ensure that apprentices represent 2.3% of their workforce. A separate event in April will be help for Public Sector employers to find out more about this.

Many of these planned changes are still in the ‘melting pot’ but employers need to keep up-to-date.  Plan to make apprentices part of the workforce either through formalising the training of existing employees or through recruitment so that you can make the most of the apprenticeship allowance, neutralise the cost of the levy if your paybill is over £3 million and meet the targets set for those in the Public Sector .

More detailed and official information


English Apprenticeships: Our 2020 Vision – Executive Summary

English Apprenticeships: Our 2020 Vision

Support for Employers:

The Employer Guide to Apprenticeships and Traineeships

Find an apprenticeship Training Organisation

Recruitment: Register on Find an apprenticeship (dedicated online vacancies and recruitment site)

Funding and Finance:

HMRC – The Employer Levy

Funding Principles and Minimum Apprenticeship Wage: Refer to Employer Guide (pages 9,14,15):

AGE Grant: £1,500/new recruit 16-14 year old apprentice. For details refer to employer fact sheet: 

National Insurance Employer Contribution – abolition for apprentices under 25 (from April 2016): HMRC:

Traineeships and Work Experience:

Employer Guide to Traineeships:

Apprenticeships: the range and levels:

Apprenticeship frameworks (live list)

Apprenticeship standards – Ready for Delivery

Apprenticeship standards – Approved for Development


Celebrating with HRH Prince Harry

Celebrating with HRH Prince Harry Photo from Exeter Chiefs Official in “HRH Prince Harry Visits Sandy Park”
Celebrating with HRH Prince Harry
Photo from Exeter Chiefs Official in “HRH Prince Harry Visits Sandy Park”

Ten young people who have been working hard as part of the REEP programme met HRH Prince Harry before the Nambia v Georgia RWC 2015 match at Sandy Park on 7 October. For these young people who have struggled to gain self-confidence and to make positive steps towards work, last night was a milestone and an opportunity to tell Prince Harry about their aspirations, work and the difference the REEP programme has made. Matt B who featured in a recent BBC Inside Out programme chatted to Prince Harry about his forthcoming apprenticeship organised through Exeter College and Charlie Houlden thanked Prince Harry for coming to see them and presented him with a gift of Exe Valley beers!

For Ryan, Matt and Charlie it is less than a week since they addressed an audience of business people at the Great BEEP Launch held at the Innovation Centre, University of Exeter; a testament to the increase in their new self-confidence and to the compelling nature of their achievements.

The good news is that Prince Harry, business leaders, council officials and many members of our community believe that “every individual matters” and they are ready to support and celebrate success.

We have launched a new charity BEEP (Business Empowering Employment Programme) and we are looking for businesses to get involved. If you would like to find out more visit BEEP or please contact Sandra Sampson of Motiv-8SW on 01392 873939.

In the Spotlight!

Rewarding hard work and celebrating success. Young People and Mentors RWC 2015 Tickets.
Rewarding hard work and celebrating success. Young People and Mentors RWC 2015 Tickets.

BBC Spotlight has been documenting the progress of some of the young people on our REEP work-readiness pilot. Film maker, Phil Tuckett and his colleagues have successfully squeezed ten intensive life-changing months into ten minutes! The film is due to be aired on BBC at 19:30 hours on 28 September, the day before the first RWC 2015 game at Sandy Park when Tonga meets Namibia.

To reward their fabulous efforts and celebrate their achievements, the young people and their trained volunteer mentors will attend the Tonga v Namibia match courtesy of the RWC 2015 Legacy Fund. But the celebrations start earlier in the day with a pre-match lunch and catch-up meeting kindly sponsored by Midas in the wonderful Estuary Room, at Darts Farm. Michael Dart was pleased to be able to support REEP and the positive difference it makes to the young people and the community.

As the RWC 2015 Legacy Funding ends and in order to continue this immensely successful initiative we are launching BEEP (Business Empowering Employment Programme) on 1 October. We hope that businesses will see BEEP as more than Corporate Social Partnership, acknowledge that it is the “right thing to do” and makes good business sense too. If you would like to find out more about “the Great BEEP Launch” contact Sandra Sampson of Motiv-8SW on 0844 848 9594.

Thank you to everyone who has been involved in REEP. REEP exemplifies our mantra “every individual matters” and was a remarkably successful partnership project.

Home for Met Office new super computer

Future home for Met Office Supercomputer on Exeter Science Park
Artist’s impression of the future home for Met Office Supercomputer on Exeter Science Park

The Exeter & Heart of Devon Employment and Skills Board (EHOD ESB) are working with local councils and the Growth Point team to maximise the potential for recruitment of local skills development and employment. In the Construction Industry this may be achieved through the adoption of the Construction Industry Training Board’s (CITB) Client Based Approach (CBA) which sets the expectation that construction companies and their sub contractors, whether new build or for maintenance, invest in local skills development and employment opportunities, managed and measured through a set of key performance indicators (KPI) commensurate with the project type and scale.

We are delighted that Willmott Dixon who will be building a home for the final part of the Met Office’s new supercomputer at the Exeter Science Park have already committed to:

  • Local spending, labour and employment which through a set of KPIs enable them to quantify the indirect economic impact of their work on local communities
  • Participate in the Construction Ambassadors’ scheme, where Willmott Dixon employees, visit schools, colleges and career events, and organise site visits and share positive experiences, promoting construction as a rewarding career.

Nationally Willmott Dixon’s 2014 community investment activities included:

  • £2.27 million contributed to enhancing local communities
  • 1,854 young people mentored
  • 326 young people had work placements
  • 500+ fundraising events for charity
  • 57 careers events interacting with 3,700 young people
  • 372 community events, from garden makeovers to renovations and repairs
  • 11 fantastic activities in the management trainee challenge contributing over £250,000 to local communities
  • 1,546 young people had their prospects transformed, (under Willmott Dixon’s definition) which is halfway towards h their target of 3000
  • £2,827 added by The Foundation’s Just Giving process to the £49,000 raised by staff through individual projects

Willmott Dixon say that “social and community investment and engagement is locked into our corporate DNA!”


Llewellyn Nicholls (right) celebrating with Matt (right) his mentee
Llewellyn Nicholls (right) celebrating with Matt (left) his mentee (c) Archant

The Rugby Empowering Employment Programme (REEP) is currently making a positive difference to the lives of young people between 16-24 years who were struggling to take their first steps on the career ladder. Following an intensive 10 day programme young people benefit from on-going mentoring from trained volunteers. REEP has undoubtedly changed the life chances of those involved for the better. We know that mentoring young people can be a challenge and requires constant commitment. Each volunteer is trained in mentoring in order to play their vital part. Our mentors come from different employment and skills backgrounds but they are unified in their desire to give something back, to learn and practise something new, and in their conviction that “every individual matters”. We also know that employers value these transferable mentoring skills too. We are therefore delighted to be working with our current mentors as they work on REEP and use their mentoring skills in a wider context.

James Bogue Active Devon
Llewellyn Nicholls Archant Publishers
Dan Pritchard Astley Media
Scott Walker Devon Community Foundation
Victoria Hatfield Exeter City Council
Mike Blakeley Exeter College
Sam Hyde Met Office
Tim Baker Midas
Sandra Sampson Motiv-8SW
Austin Woodin Former Royal Marine
Chris Shrimpton Retired teacher

REEP will soon become BEEP (Business Empowering Employment Programme). As the RWC 2015 Legacy funding comes to an end we will be launching BEEP. We would love to hear from businesses who like to become involved and to benefit from BEEP too. Contact Sandra Sampson of Motiv-8SW on 0844 848 9594 to find out more.

REEP reaps more!

Sandra (right) catching up with Amy during a working day at Crealy
Sandra (right) catching up with Amy during a working day at Crealy

REEP could be EEP! REEP gets its name from Rugby Empowering Employment Programme. The connection to rugby is due to generous funding from Rugby World Cup 2015 legacy funding. REEP uses some sporting values: preparation, commitment, hard work, skill and collaboration but in reality REEP is for any young person between 16-24 years who is struggling to take first steps on their career ladder regardless of their interest in sport or rugby.

Young people from the first REEP are still on track! They are demonstrating their determination, newly acquired skills and confidence, whilst continuing their valuable relationships with trained volunteer mentors.

We are delighted that a second REEP project will start on Monday 11 May 2015. We would like to hear from three groups of people:

  • Young people aged 16-24 years from East Devon, Exeter, Mid Devon and Teignbridge who would like to join the project. Charlie from the first REEP programme said: “The course leaders have been great. They know how to motivate and really got everyone to open up… the course has been good for me already.” Charlie is now working for an Exeter IT company.
  • Potential mentors who receive free training to help them with their vital role of helping young people transition from the REEP 10 day programme in to work or education. Sandra, Amy’s volunteer mentor from the first REEP programme said “Amy was devastated when she was initially unsuccessful at her first interview at Crealy (before REEP), this shows how empowering this 10 day programme is and how her renewed confidence and skills have resulted in such a positive outcome for Amy”. 
  • Employers who would consider recruiting a local young person who has completed the REEP programme and who has the support of a mentor. Craig Clews, Assistant General Manager at Devon’s Crealy Great Adventure Park said: “It was a real pleasure to attend the REEP presentation day and I’m delighted that Amy got in contact with me.  We’re thrilled that she’ll be joining the Crealy Crew. We’re always on the search for new talent, especially those with a ‘Can Do’ attitude and Amy showed just that.  We are fortunate to be able to offer flexible working in a fun environment at Crealy. New members of the team will join us for our biggest and best year to date.”

“Every individual matters” (Karime Hassan, Exeter City Council Chief Executive and Growth Director ) so we encourage you to find out more about REEP by reading the blogs posted here or by contacting Motiv8-SW on 0844 848 9594.

REEP Young People on track!

Young Person presentation of themself
Starting out 7 weeks ago and still on track!

REEP Young People are on track! They are demonstrating their determination, newly acquired skills and confidence, whilst continuing their valuable relationships with trained volunteer mentors. This is the latest update:

Aaron* Is doing voluntary work at Hospice Care with a view to full time employment
Amy Is working full time at Crealy
Charlie* Has signed up for the Transplant course that is running this week, is doing his construction green card and forklift training
Charlie Is working full time at IT company
Hamish* Has been on work experience as a labourer and is currently in the process of trying to obtain his CSCS card
Jacob* Is looking to sort his CSCS card
Jemima Is working full time at Coach’s café, still trying to pursue further training for a Midwifery course
Mike* Has applied for an apprenticeship in brick laying through Exeter College and hopes to hear this week
Ryan Is sorting out an interview at the Job Centre today for Tool Hire

Importantly, for the local construction sector and for the young people themselves a large construction company are interested in meeting all the young people* who expressed an interest in a career in construction.

“Every individual matters” to the mentors, to the partners, to parents and carers, and now thanks to REEP to each one of the young people themselves.