St Michael’s Shared Apprentice Scheme
It is an idea, an innovation if you like, that has been under discussion for more than a year.
The aim is to create what’s known as a ‘shared apprentice scheme’ for traders and tenants on St Michael’s Estate. Shared schemes work well for small businesses as they reduce the cost by spreading it across like businesses while the apprentice experiences a broader and often richer learning environment.
The aim was to create a scheme that would benefit traders on the estate – not something that might become a millstone that risks weighing the business down.
The concept of apprenticeships is not new – the earliest schemes were set up at the turn of the century in manufacturing and engineering businesses. But now apprentices can learn any one of more than 180 different disciplines across 12 different sectors.
Nationally, more than 420,000 youngsters joined an apprentice scheme in the last 12 months. St Michael’s would like to make its own contribution to that number – probably just single figures to start but growing gradually we hope over the next few years as more tenants start to see the benefits.
Some of the Skills Seen at St Michael’s that Would Fit the Apprenticeship Model
Much is talked about apprenticeships and the contribution they make not only to the development of key skills but also to the communities in which apprentices work. There has been considerable promotion and publicity concerning apprenticeships in the last 10 years; to the extent it has become a hot election topic.
Each government in recent years has developed a strong policy for rebuilding attitudes towards apprenticeships and expanding the scope of apprenticeship programs to the extent that more than 3 million apprenticeships across a wide variety of skills have been created in the last five years.
We have three simple objectives for the St Michael’s Scheme:
• To help our many small businesses grow while at the same time developing new skills
• To ensure we ‘do our bit’ to retain the many varied skills we have on St Michael’s
• To create something that adds value to the community in which we are based
Regular meetings have been held between interested tenants and the training providers, the apprenticeship management agency and representatives from West Dorset District Council.
One of the organisations we have been working with is the Cornwall Apprentice Agency who have established a number of shared schemes in and around Falmouth, mainly for small boat building businesses.
We will of course update this page to keep all interested parties aware of the current status.