21 April 2021

Staffordshire training provider reports 75% apprenticeships rise

Staffordshire-based Acacia Training has seen employer demand for apprentices rocket by almost 75% during the first quarter of 2021, compared with the same period last year.

During the first quarter of this year, the Trentham-based team enrolled 450 new trainees across a range of courses compared to 258 in the same period in 2020. The company has now pledged to secure at least 1800 apprentices by the end of the year; up to 500 kickstart placements for 18-24 year olds; and enrol over 540 traineeship learners. 

Thanks to Skills for Care Funding, this quarter Acacia Training will also support over 200 new recruits to gain rapid induction and retraining into the care sector where the skills shortage is acute.

The news comes as the company unveiled the completion of a £250,000 refurbishment to its headquarters in Trentham Business Quarter, as it prepares to welcome its 131-strong team of employees back to the office following the recent lockdowns.

CEO Victoria Sylvester comments: “Given what the entire country has experienced in the past year, it is encouraging to see learners embark on new and exciting paths and reassuring to witness businesses recognise the value in supporting new and returning employees to gain greater skills.

“Here at Acacia, we are driven by our vision to make education accessible to everyone, ensure opportunities for career progression and to make a positive contribution to modern society. Education and training are fundamental to this and it is a very positive step to see the government increasing financial resources to help employers recruit and train staff through the combination of traineeships, the Kickstart scheme which is proving popular, and greater funding for Apprenticeships.

“Our clients range from individual learners who want to find employment or progress in their career to large employers, like the NHS, MoD and local authorities. Many are somewhere in between – indeed, 83% of our learners are employed by small or medium enterprises.”

As Vice Chair of the Staffordshire Partnership for Employment and Skills, Victoria works closely with local organisations in Staffordshire including Jobcentre Plus and Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, to improve employment opportunities and help stimulate economic growth amongst the region’s employers.

Victoria concludes: “Whilst it’s been a challenging twelve months for us all, I am so proud of my team for adapting rapidly to what our learners and employer clients needed from us – not just in the health and social care profession which has been exceptionally busy – but also across our other sectors such as business, hair and beauty, dental nursing and leadership and management. “I’m really looking forward to welcoming the whole team back and excited that we have made such exciting changes to a more flexible, collaborative and inspiring working environment through our significant refurbishment project.”

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