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Forget university debt, say Cotswold companies

PUBLISHED: 11:46 26 September 2012 | UPDATED: 21:57 20 February 2013

Forget university debt, say Cotswold companies

Forget university debt, say Cotswold companies

Cotswold companies are starting to make the most of bright students who don't want university debt but do want a good job with proper training. Some businesses are even setting up their own dedicated training facilities.

Forget university debt, say Cotswold companies

Are rising university tuition fees such a bad thing?

Cotswold companies are starting to make the most of bright students who dont want university debt but do want a good job with proper training. Some businesses are even setting up their own dedicated training facilities. We report on whats going on.

Young heads in the Clouds at Dynmark

With the number of university applications dropping by nine per cent this year and national youth unemployment at over a million Cheltenham-based Dynmark has launched The Dynmark Academy, a programme giving young people the opportunity to develop within its organisation.

For the last ten years Dynmark, a global cloud mobile messaging and marketing service provider, has led the marketing in the growing business of mobile messaging, a sector which young people understand and where they recognise the potential.

The Dynmark Academy gives young people the chance to make a difference in a growing company through an all-encompassing training and development programme with exposure to every aspect of the business including marketing,account management, sales and I.T., with the intention to progress into a role within one of these teams. Academy members are mentored by the Dynmark team from board level down as well being enrolled on courses at local educational institutions.

Paul Putman, Managing Director of Dynmark and founder of the Dynmark Academy explains. I struggled to find bright young individuals with the skills Dynmark needed to grow effectively, in my previous role at Messagelabs we set up a sales academy which proved a fantastic way of bringing young people on board into the business. So it made sense to replicate this program in Dynmark but with a focus on marketing and overall business operations.

I have been blown away by our first tranche of Academites they have exceeded all expectations and added huge value to the business. They are far ahead of their peers in terms of real life application of business process and experience as well as earning in most cases. Its been a real success.

After six months, each team member is provided with a budget to spend on training to support their development. Courses paid for so far range from certified management programmes through to graphic design.

Dynmark is already recruiting the second tranche of Academites thanks to its first group moving on and up within the Dynmark business.www.dynmark.com

The power of six atLister Communications

Stonehouse-based Lister Communications has taken on six new apprentices.

The business-to-business telecommunications company has taken on three customer-service and three sales apprentices through the Gloucestershire Apprenticeship Challenge, along with a placement student from Bournemouth University.

Director Jim Clapham said: We were looking to provide our staff with more sales and customer service skills training and Gloucestershire College visited to explain the apprenticeships. We thought it was a great way forward. It helps the staff learn on the job and gives them a lot more to work towards. So now we have six apprentices at Lister Communications!

Listers now employs 30 members of staff and is backing the Gloucestershire Apprenticeship Challenge run by GFirst, the company that drives Gloucestershires Local Enterprise Partnership, in collaboration with other colleges in the county.

All six apprentices train in house and have an assessor from Gloucestershire College visiting regularly to check on progress. Lister commits much time in training their employees to the high standard they encourage their clients to expect.

Nadine Howlett, 24, from Stonehouse, is doing a customer service apprenticeship at Lister Communications. She said: I wanted to do an apprenticeship to give me more confidence. In customer service I am the first port of call for everything.

Fellow apprentice Tom Hann, 24, from Quedgeley, who is doing a sales apprenticeship, has previously worked in sales but says the apprenticeship gives him something else to work for.

Ted Waddell, 20, of Cirencester, is taking a year from his degree to do an Internship at Lister Communications.

He said: This is my opportunity to put what I have spent two years studying into practice. They have given me a lot of perspective into the company and shown me all the necessary parts that keep a successful business running.www.lister-communications.co.uk

18 apprentices get helping hand to top Football Careers

When professional footballer Julian Alsop decided to hang up his boots he had no idea what to do.

So he decided to set up in business giving ex-players the opportunity to gain qualifications in sport and hes now training 18 apprentices to make sure they are on target for a top career.

Julian, who runs Gloucestershire-based Football Careers, said: Having been a professional footballer for nearly 20 years and not having any idea of my next career move, it soon became clear that I needed to have a plan.

With no qualifications or job skills that I could rely on, I was left searching for what I wanted to do next.

If Id had something like this it would have been brilliant. Thats why I set the business up because I want to help youngsters build a career out of sport.

Julian is backing the Gloucestershire Apprenticeship Challenge run by GFirst in collaboration with colleges in the county.

The campaign, which has seen more than 140 new businesses sign up since January, aims to encourage new employers to take on apprentices and encourage employers that have taken on apprentices in the past to take on new apprentices in different areas of their business.

Julian has hired 18 apprentices for the Football Careers Apprenticeship course who will follow a specially devised football-coaching course from Gloucestershire College. The apprentices have the opportunity to complete a variety of sports coaching courses as well as first aid, maths, English and other vocations.

The former Cheltenham Town player added: I realised the benefits that apprenticeships could give to young people and businesses and with the help of people like Roman Cooper from the Local Enterprise Partnership, and Gloucestershire College I devised a framework and launched the apprenticeship programme. I want to take on even more apprentices next year.

Apprentices Ross Skeet, 20, from The Reddings, said: I always dreamed of a job in sport but left school at 16 and didnt have the qualifications I needed to go to university so went into office work. I heard about the Football Careers Apprenticeship, went to the trial and got the position. I love it. It gives me the opportunity to get a qualification and experience and now I know it is not a dream, it is a reality and if I do the work a career in coaching is definitely achievable.

Roman Cooper, board member for Gloucestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: When Julian came to GFirst to find out more about apprenticeships we were happy to help. Apprenticeships are vital for businesses to succeed in the current economic climate, which is why Gloucestershire Local Enterprise Partnership is so committed to getting county businesses to take on apprentices.

To see Football Careers taking on 18 apprentices is fantastic. If all our businesses did the same we would see a growing thriving and talented workforce throughout Gloucestershire.www.footballerscareers.com

Engineering career success at Renishaw

Earlier this year Wootton under Edge-based Renishaw launched a massive apprenticeship recruitment drive to support the companys growth ambitions. We decided to find out how things were going.

During this summer some 80 undergraduates entered Renishaw for paid placements. The most promising students will be given financial incentives to maintain a relationship with the Company into the future. 71 craft and technical apprentices are currently in training along with four software apprentices. A further 40 recent graduates started with Renishaw this summer. This year the company has also given one-week work placements to some 50 14-17 year olds.

Renishaw reports the quality of apprentices is very high again this year and competition for places was tough, with over 150 applications received. There are clearly more people taking A levels and then deciding not to apply for a university place despite having the academic ability and grades. This is helped, the company thinks, by the positive message now being communicated about the quality of training, earning and learning within engineering apprenticeships and the much higher job prospects.www.renishaw.com

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