Skills minister backs '100 in 100' apprenticeships drive by industry

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Skills minister John Hayes has officially endorsed the ‘100 in 100’ campaign launched at IFSEC 2011 to underpin 100 new apprenticeship placements across the security sector in 100 days. Brian Sims reports on this development.

“This Government is on the side of employers who invest in the skills of their people – and we’re working with business to deliver the biggest and best apprenticeships programme our country has ever seen. By launching its own campaign to deliver more apprenticeships, the security sector is giving ambitious young people the opportunity to build rewarding careers in the sector, and laying a firm foundation for sustained growth.”

These are the words of Conservative MP John Hayes who, in his capacity as Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills has officially endorsed the ‘100 in 100’ campaign launched at IFSEC 2011.

Devised by Skills for Security and CSL DualCom, and fully supported by the British Security Industry Association, the National Security Inspectorate and the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (and with SMT Online/I4S acting as Official Media Partner), ‘100 in 100’ is wholly focused on placing 100 apprenticeships in roles across the industry within a 100-day timeframe which started on Monday 16 May.

Companies pledging their support

At last count, the scheme organisers have received enquiries from 92 employers with 18 new apprentices already signed up and more in the pipeline over the next few weeks.

Companies who have pledged their support by signing on the dotted line include TI Security.

Speaking to SMT Online about progress on the campaign to date, Skills for Security’s CEO David Greer said: “At Skills for Security we’ve always known that apprenticeships are an ideal way for young people to start their careers in the security industry, and we have the success stories to prove it. We’re absolutely delighted that the ‘100 in 100’ campaign has sparked new interest from the systems sector, and our business development advisers are currently visiting employers across the country to sign up new apprentices each week.”

Simon Banks – co-founder of the apprenticeships drive and commercial director at CSL DualCom – added: “The ‘100 in 100’ drive is nearing the halfway point of its 100-day deadline. We are at a stage where we have the commitment from many UK security installers, but desperately need more companies to get on board.”

Banks added: “All participating companies will be making history as this is the first industry initiative of its kind and, as such, is being exposed at a Government level and offers those participating companies the opportunity to profile themselves on the UK stage.”

In conclusion, Banks stressed: “It’s a symbiotic partnership for the apprentice and the installer, and a winning solution to the growing issue of youth unemployment.”

Comments from the initial supporters

SMT Online also made a point of talking to some of the companies who have already pledged their participation.

Richard Samwell – managing director at TI Security, one of the first three companies to back the programme – added: “At TI Security we see apprenticeships as an ideal platform for training young professionals in the industry, so when I saw the ‘100 in 100’ initiative being promoted it had instant appeal. The sign-up and sourcing process was very simple from start to finish, and I now have an apprentice engineer all set and ready to start in September.

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