Worcester’s MP, Robin Walker, recently opened a new training academy at Worcester Fire Safety business Compco.
The local business, which has been taking on three or four apprentices each year for the last few years has expanded its intake to around twelve and delivered a dedicated new apprentice academy at its Malvern Road site in Worcester.
Robin, who spoke to Compco about their plans for expansion last year, has today met with apprentices in subjects ranging from design to HR, estimating to IT, who have already begun their studies and work with the business. He heard how Compco is seeing strong demand for its products across a range of commercial and industrial sectors and how the increasing competition for construction and engineering skills led the Worcester business to decide to take on more apprentices.
Speaking to the apprentices he found that they came from a wide variety of different backgrounds with some moving from working in other sectors, others taking on the apprenticeship after a university degree and others still using it to get their first experience of the work place. John Sinclair, the owner of Compco began his career as an apprentice and, like many Worcester business leaders, has been a strong supporter of apprenticeships for many years.
Separately, figures published by the Ernst & Young Item Club have shown that Business Investment in the UK has hit its highest ever level in absolute terms and its highest level as a percentage of GDP since the year 2000. This welcome indication reflects progress with one of the key challenges facing the UK, that of increasing productivity. In order to deliver a higher wage economy UK businesses need to invest in both plant and skills and the figures published today suggest this is exactly what is happening.
Robin has welcomed the Government’s commitment to delivering 3 million apprenticeships by 2020, up from 2 million in the last five years and has set a target of Worcestershire moving from 10,000 to 15,000 in the same time. He currently serves as PPS to Nicky Morgan who as Secretary of State for Education is partly responsible for apprenticeships and as Secetary of State for Women & Equalities is leading the effort to get more girls in STEM subjects and engineering careers.
Commenting on the opening Robin said:
“On the day that we discover British businesses are investing at their fastest rate in history it is wonderful to be able to open a fantastic new apprentice academy in Worcester. Compco is a strong local business which has already made a significant contribution to jobs and skills. With the expansion of their apprentice intake the delivery of this wonderful new dedicated facility they are making a real vote of confidence in the future. It is tremendously exciting to meet bright young people at the beginning of a new career and the apprentices I met today were clearly engaged, ambitious and determined.”
“I want to see apprenticeships in even more businesses here in Worcester and I want to see our city continuing to invest in skills. Helping more people to earn and learn, gain work experience as well as valuable qualifications has to be the right thing to do and I am delighted to see Compco doing exactly that. Investing in apprenticeships is an investment in the future.”
Notes to Editors:
For more information on Compco Fire Systems see:
For information on their apprenticeship scheme and some examples of Compco apprentices see:
For Robin Walker’s commitments on Apprenticeships in Worcester see:
For the full report on Business Investment from the EY Item Club see: