Skills minister shows his support at annual GTA apprenticeship awards

Speaking at the Group Training Associations’ (GTA)  general conference, skills minister Nick Boles, has praised the national body for its continued work within the apprenticeship sector.


Celebrating apprenticeship success

The GTA England Annual Conference took place at the prestigious headquarters of the IMechE (Institution of Mechanical Engineers) in Westminster, London. Dinner took place in the Elizabethan style Library, which has views over St. James Park.

The conference was particularly timely, with significant change in the world of vocational education with English and maths, Traineeships and Apprenticeships all forming part of Governmental strategy for economic growth.

The event was opened by GTA England Vice Chairman Steve Gray, who is also CEO of the largest Group Training Association in the country, Training 2000.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Meeting the Challenge of Change Together” and speakers were drawn from educational institutions such as EAL, Ofsted, BIS and the Engineering Skills Service. Ofsted recently released its report into the apprenticeship sector.

Commenting on the report, Mark Maudsley, CEO of GTA England said:

Ofsted’s Report; Apprenticeships: Developing Skills for Future Prosperity, highlighted that Group Training Associations provide a very successful model for collaboration with employers. The report also recognises that GTA England’s members have high quality training programmes above sector norms,’’ explained Maudsley.

GTAs, being governed by the employers they serve, aim to ensure that these relationships are deepened in order to help continue to respond to the workforce development needs of the 24,000 employers in the network.”


Gaining political support

The evening culminated in an awards ceremony which shined a spotlight on exceptional apprentices drawn from every region, all hoping to be crowned ‘Apprentice of the Year’ 2015.

The minister of state for skills, Nick Boles, was in attendance to announce the winners and present each apprentice with a Certificate of Commendation.

The GTA England awards ceremony highlights the talent, energy and skill apprentices bring to businesses both large and small across the country,’’ said Boles.

Apprenticeships play a vital role in building a modern, highly skilled workforce. This is why we are working with organisations like GTA England and its members to deliver 3 million apprenticeships by 2020.”