Minister for apprenticeships and skills visits Learning Curve Group head office during National Apprenticeship week

Posted on Feb 16, 2022

Learning Curve Group welcomes Alex Burghart MP, the Department for Education’s Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills to their Head Office on Friday 11th February as part of their National Apprenticeship Week Celebrations. They discussed the current further education landscape, how Independent Training Providers are essential in tackling long-term skills challenges and their contribution to the development of apprenticeships.

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The national training provider operates as one of the country's largest and most diverse training providers in the country with over 50 skills based academies across England and Wales.

Alex Burghart MP was greeted by Learning Curve Group CEO, Brenda McLeish OBE, and was given an overview of LCG’s breadth of delivery and the important work that they do to transform lives through learning. The minister then got to meet some of LCG’s very own apprentices, some of whom had studied an apprenticeship programme with LCG and were now continuing their careers within the business and others had just began their apprenticeships in September. He posed for a photo with Brenda McLeish OBE, Dehenna Davison MP and the recent Purple People Academy graduates to celebrate them achieving their apprenticeship qualifications.

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The Minister was interested to hear first hand from the apprentices how the skills they have learnt reflect on the roles they are fulfilling, what support they get from their tutors and their experience of studying with LCG. Some of the apprentices were school leavers who were in their first job, others were senior employees of the business who have studied level 5 and level 7 qualifications.

Brenda McLeish OBE, CEO of LCG, said: “I am delighted to welcome Alex Burghart MP to our Head Office today during National Apprenticeship Week, to discuss the importance of delivering high quality apprenticeship programmes to ensure people are equipped with the skills that employers need. It’s great to have the Minister here to see the importance of the work we do as an independent training provider and the impact we are having on learners' lives across the country.

Our apprentices enjoyed speaking with the Minister about their experience of their apprenticeship programme and how it has helped them succeed in their careers here at LCG. It is very important to me that we continue to ‘practice what we preach’ as a training provider and show how important apprenticeships are to the development of individuals at any age, or point in their careers.”

Alex Burghart MP, Minister for Skills, said: “It’s been really exciting to be at Learning Curve Group during National Apprenticeship Week. We are trying to drive up the number of young people and those who are mid-career who are taking advantage of apprenticeships to learn and achieve. We know the value of apprenticeships, they are a brilliant way of learning from the experts, learning on the job and getting involved in the economy. Thank you to Learning Curve Group for everything they are doing to spread the word about the importance of apprenticeships.”

LCG set up their Purple People Academy back in 2019 and have so far seen 3 cohorts of apprentices join the business. As one of the region's largest employers, the training provider recognises their responsibility to give opportunities to young people in the local area. LCG have always had a ‘practice what you preach’ approach as a training provider and whilst they transform the lives of over one million people across the country, their employees are no different. One of their core values is to ensure their staff are empowered and one of the ways they do that is through the Purple People Academy and regular CPD opportunities. LCG have recently been recognised for their commitment to the development of apprenticeships by the AAC Apprenticeship Awards as they have made the national shortlist.

The Minister was interested in learning more about LCG’s Skills Report for the North, which seeks to explore the current further education landscape and establish what needs to change to ensure the UK’s skills sector is fit for the future. LCG welcome the Government’s proposal to create a register of providers as this will have a positive impact on the quality of provision across the sector and help to lay out the foundations for a sustainable solution to meet longer-term skills challenges.

The Minister also met with some of LCG’s external guests during the visit. NCFE CEO, David Gallagher, Jackson’s Law and Newcastle Building Society.

Zoe Tweddle, HR Manager at Jacksons Law Firm, said: “It was an honour to be invited to the ministerial visit at Learning Curve Group today. Jacksons Law Firm love apprenticeships, so it was great to be able to talk to Alex Burghart MP about apprenticeships, the success stories and the challenges we face. It was also a pleasure meeting Dehenna Davison MP and Brenda McLeish OBE as well as lots of the Learning Curve Group team.”

Suzanne Slater, Director of Apprenticeships at NCFE said: ''It was brilliant to attend the event at Learning Curve Group and join the National Apprenticeship Week celebrations. We were able to gain a real insight into the fantastic work they’re doing with their apprentices, who demonstrate the tangible benefits of this training route to both the individual and the employer. I was also pleased to meet with Skills Minister Alex Burghart at the event. Together, we discussed the need for quality advice and guidance around vocational and technical learning – both for young people in schools and also adults looking to change careers.”

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