Firms urged to take on apprentices

Small business owners in Bicester are being urged to consider taking on an apprentice.

A special event, Making Sense of Apprenticeships, is taking place at the Bicester Innovation Centre in Telford Road to give employers the chance to find out the advantages of taking on an apprentice and to have their questions answered by experts.

The event is being held by Oxfordshire Apprenticeships in partnership with Bicester Chamber of Commerce and the National Apprenticeship Service.

Paddy Patterson, skills partnership officer at Oxfordshire County Council, said: “The aim of these events is to help businesses make sense of apprenticeships by giving them the facts, busting the myths and by hearing the experiences of employers and apprentices who have benefited.

“It is important we understand the problems employers are facing and find suitable solutions for them.”

Bicester teenager James Bale, 19, was taken on as an apprentice by graphic design company Orme Creative. He has since gone on to secure a role with a London-based company as a graphic designer.

He said: “My experience in getting an apprenticeship was a fantastic one that will pay off in the future. With university not being the route I wanted to go down and jobs being scarce, I hit an incredibly lucky break landing my apprenticeship at Orme Creative. I was taught so much by my peers, including invaluable skills that have paved a career in front of me. My skills are being put to great use and I have a bright future ahead of me because of my apprenticeship.”

Councillor Melanie Magee, who is responsible for apprenticeships at Cherwell District Council, said: “Apprenticeships provide a fantastic way of developing skills within any industry.”

The free event takes place at Bicester Innovation Centre on Thursday, January 10, at 9.30am.

To book, see makingsensebicester.eventbrite.co.uk

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