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LSBU marks National Apprenticeship Week with celebratory event

Employers, apprentices and Southwark councillors, attended a celebratory event at LSBU's Passmore Centre to mark National Apprenticeship Week
11 March 2019

Local employers, apprentices, university staff and Southwark councillors, attended a celebratory networking event (Wednesday 6 March) at London South Bank University’s (LSBU) Passmore Centre for Apprenticeship, to mark National Apprenticeship Week and the development of apprenticeships in the borough.

LSBU and Southwark Council are working together to achieve an ambitious target of 2,000 apprentices in the borough by 2020. Progress has already been made with over 700 LSBU apprentices currently enrolled on placements across a range of different professions, from architecture and digital marketing to construction skills.

Three local employers gave presentations about their positive experience of taking on an apprentice for the first time, sharing their experiences of the benefits and challenges of delivering an apprenticeship scheme. Employers giving presentations were followed by their apprentices who gave enthusiastic accounts of their personal journeys, balancing study and work commitments and earning while learning.

Speaking from the employer’s perspective, Russell Whitby, architect at HLM Architects said: “HLM’s experience with the apprenticeship scheme has been very positive so far. LSBU have been supportive and reflective of the process and are always available to take our questions and help us implement the scheme within our practice.

“It has been a fantastic journey for us and great to see how our practice can collaborate to make a truly positive contribution to our profession and create wider opportunities for everyone.

“We are excited to implement the ‘Level 6 training plan’ as it already aligns with HLM’s own internal review and mentoring progression.  HLM has a supportive culture and as a company we recognise the value of great people and believe that a diverse team is the key to delivering successful and beautifully crafted architecture.  HLM are excited to be part of the changing landscape of architectural education.”

Speaking about the apprentice’s experience, Daniel Stokes, LSBU’s architecture apprentice currently on a placement at HLM Architects, said: “Weekly design studios with one-to-one tutorials as well as technology lectures have proved stimulating and inspiring. Having access to workshop and digital fabrication facilities are an excellent feature that provide a fantastic counterpoint to the on-the-job training that’s undertaken at HLM with the support and guidance of both my practice mentor as well as my studio leads and the academic staff at LSBU. Engaging with my colleagues has also been a fantastic way to learn.

“HLM have been extremely supportive in ensuring that I can fulfil my university requirements while also completing my day-to-day project work. On this basis I’m extremely optimistic about the year ahead, studying for the level 6 apprenticeship at LSBU.”

Professor Patrick Bailey, LSBU’s Vice-Chancellor, who spoke at the event, said: “It was really exciting to be involved in this celebratory event, because it marks three outstanding aspects of Apprenticeship Week for LSBU. The first is that the wonderfully refurbished Passmore Centre hosted the event, and it was great to see the new facilities being at the heart of things. Secondly, the tremendous partnership with Southwark Borough Council was on show – not just their support for the new centre, but their commitment to apprenticeships for Southwark as an opportunity for both businesses and students. Thirdly, we were all genuinely inspired by the apprentices – they stole the show! It was clear that local businesses have really engaged with this training opportunity, and the delight and commitment of the apprentices while telling their ‘success stories’ is really what this is all about.”

Read more about National Apprenticeship Week.