Talking Training: looking ahead to 2017

In her monthly column, Acorn’s Sarah John looks towards 2017 as the year draws to a close.

2016 has been a fantastic year for Acorn. In particular when looking at our training success over the last twelve months, we’ve been reaccredited for the quality framework, The Matrix Standard and launched a number of new courses, including a Higher Apprenticeship in Project Management with Cardiff Metropolitan University and a HR Diploma in partnership with Coleg Y Cymoedd.

Unprecedented change

As a leading training provider, we continue to explore how we can help to secure the future of work-based learning programmes. In a year that has seen unprecedented change here in Wales and further afield, one thing is for certain, apprenticeships are continuing to be a key driver of economic success.

Following the Brexit vote in June, we’re unsure, like so many others, exactly how the referendum result will affect us all. However, we’re positive that training will continue to be a key agenda for businesses to recruit and develop staff. And of course, there are some bumps in the road but as a provider we are more than capable of adapting to change, ensuring that the quality of our courses and delivery are never compromised.

For more than a decade, we’ve designed and delivered training opportunities bespoke to employers’ needs, achieving effective results and supporting the growth of our customers. You don’t need to take my word for it. At this year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, our clients truly led the way. BT Cymru was named Macro Employer of the Year and Arthur J Gallagher who we’ve worked with since 2010 were named Medium Employer of the Year.  In addition to our clients, Niall Perks, one of our Apprentices was also named Foundation Apprentice of the Year. In just 14 short months, Niall has gone from working in a fish and chip shop to developing a promising IT and Telecoms career with Cwmbran-based SIPHON. Why wouldn’t you invest in apprenticeships?

So, do you have a training plan in place for 2017?

Funding opportunities

Whether you’re a startup, an SME or a large multi-national company, on-the-job training should in my opinion be at the forefront of your company strategy. Here in Wales, we are so lucky to have the support of the Welsh Government with a number of funding opportunities available, subject to eligibility. Why not investigate to see whether or not you may be eligible? You can do so by clicking here >

Flipping the coin, I’d like to address aspiring apprentices. In short, whether you’re fresh out of school or you’ve got 30 years of work under your belt, please remember, you’re never too young or old to develop yourself. Take Ann Mullins, one of our Training Advisors as an example. Former Bank Manager, Ann was made redundant in her mid-50s and despite having clocked up more than her fair share of years in employment, Ann decided to retrain with us and is enjoying her new role, passing on her knowledge and transferrable skills to others.

I would also like to take the opportunity to wish you all the best over the Christmas period – and to a fruitful and strong 2017.

A column by Sarah John, Acorn’s Commercial Director and newly elected Chairperson for the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW)

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