The development of high quality apprenticeships is one of the top priorities of Government. However it is known that whilst some employers would gladly take on an apprentice, they are often put off by the potential bureaucracy and red tape associated with this. To help overcome this there has been the development of Apprenticeship Training Agencies whereby the Agency hires apprentices and places them in 'host' companies and organisations. This approach plays to the strengths of both parties:
- The Host company provides valuable work experience and pays the costs of employing and supporting the Apprentice; and
- The Training Association covers all of the administration, payroll, support and supervision including being their legal employer.
The National Skills Academy (NSA) for Retail provides access to consistent, high quality training for retail businesses, their employees and future workforce, delivered through a network of quality-marked retail skills shops. The National Skills Academy was keen to explore the potential for the establishment of an Apprenticeship Training Agency to support employers in the retail sector and commissioned EMB Consulting to support them in two specific tasks:
Feasibility and risk assessment – EMB Consulting carried out a brief feasibility study into the viability for the development of a sustainable Apprenticeship Training Agency for the organisation. This included, at its core, a financial risk assessment for the organisation.
Project proposal – Based on the findings of the feasibility study, EMB prepared a project proposal as the basis for discussion between the National Skills Academy, its partners and potential public funders.
“The National Skills Academy for Retail has been delighted with the work undertaken by Liz Byrne in the development of our Apprenticeship Training Agency. The proposal was well received by the relevant agencies. I would certainly recommend any organisation looking for a professional and very approachable individual with great experience of the private and public sectors in the field of skills to contact Liz”.
Jane Rexworthy, Head of National Skills Academy for Retail