Cable gets grilling from building services firm over apprenticeships

Business secretary Vince Cable fielded questions on the sustainability of apprenticeship schemes yesterday, during a visit to CF Roberts in Cheltenham.

The electrical and mechanical engineering specialists employ around 250 staff and recently created another 25 apprenticeship placements to help foster and train young talent – including Jake Heath and Ryan McGhee, two award winning apprentices that were congratulated by Cable during the visit.

However, concerns have arisen over the long term viability of the programmes, particularly where funding is concerned.

Managing Director Ian Henderson told Cable that the company has “some concerns” about changes to the way apprenticeships are funded.  “It is how I started myself,” explained Henderson, “So did our deputy managing director Paul Roberts.

A spokesman for the firm said: “There is a concern nationally that many apprentices complete their training only to find there is no job to go to but the Minister observed that the conversion of apprentices to permanent employees at CF Roberts was among the most impressive he had come across.”