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UK’s first R&D Higher Apprenticeship launches at Banbury based UK motorsport engineering firm with leading UK watchmaker

PUBLISHED: 14:21 10 May 2013 | UPDATED: 14:21 10 May 2013

UK’s first R&D Higher Apprenticeship launches at Banbury based UK motorsport engineering firm with leading UK watchmaker

A new Higher Apprenticeship in Research & Development launched at motorsport engineering company, Prodrive in Banbury on 1st May 2013. The qualification has been developed by the UK’s leading provider of manufacturing apprenticeships, Pera Training, and the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, in partnership with a number of local employers from the engineering and manufacturing sectors. Giles English, co-founder of the award-winning Henley chronometers Bremont, will highlight the importance of R & D Higher Apprenticeship for high tech firms.

R&D Higher Apprenticeship Project Manager Steve Gledhill from Pera, said, “Manufacturing companies are continually developing new products. They are also coming up with new processes or making improvements to existing processes. The production process from concept through to design and into manufacture has a big impact on cost. Reducing lead times, understanding innovation, new product development and the supply chain are key elements of this new Higher Apprenticeship. Understanding these principles and putting them into practice will enable competitive advantage, enabling individuals and organizations with these skills to develop new and better products for the future”

This follows findings in a recent study from ICM Research that employers in England regarded qualified Higher Apprentices as the most desirable recruits, rating this group 25% more employable than those who took an alternative route to work. Higher Apprenticeships are the latest addition to the apprenticeship family, having only been in development since 2011 but they are transforming the way in which businesses are acquiring and developing the skills they need. A Higher Apprenticeship gives businesses a different route to training new recruits to degree-equivalent levels or providing progressive skills training for existing employees.

Sir Tony Baldry, MP for North Oxfordshire, praised the new qualification saying that it was a clear route to “higher class skills that will enable individual companies and the UK collectively to compete with the rest of the world”. He particularly welcomed news that the launch was taking place in Banbury saying “Banbury has a number of world-class engineering and manufacturing firms – Prodrive, Norbar Torque, Crompton Technology, and many others, all offering quality apprenticeships. I hope that the development of Higher Apprenticeships will encourage other companies to come forward and offer this route.”

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