Harrogate companies named among top apprentice employers

TWO Harrogate companies are among the country’s top employers of apprentices.

Bluefin Insurance Services and Vital Technology Group have been named in the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list, supported by the National Apprenticeship Service and City & Guilds.

The list, which was announced at the annual National Apprenticeship Awards, rewards excellence in businesses committed to providing apprenticeship opportunities.

National insurance broker Bluefin has put 113 employees on apprenticeships in the past two years, including 24 in its regional offices in Harrogate, Leeds and York.

Bluefin apprenticeships have three parts within a clearly defined training programme, which takes between 12 and 18 months to complete. Apprentices work in a variety of roles including broking, account handling, customer service, sales support and general administration.

David Kirby, learning and development manager north at Bluefin, said: “The apprenticeship scheme is now embedded in our wider learning and development programme and we are monitoring the first successful candidates closely to ensure they enjoy the career opportunities warranted by their efforts and abilities. We look forward to these first groups being the managers and leaders of the future.”

Vital Technology Group’s listing as a Top 100 Apprentice Employer follows on from its success in the Yorkshire and Humber regional heats of this year’s National Apprenticeship Awards.

Vital has taken on three apprentices in the past five years and regards its in-house programme as major part of its strategy of training and developing staff.

Lee Evans, managing director of Vital Network Solutions, said: “Apprenticeships are very important to us so it is a real honour to be recognised for our hard work.

“Our apprenticeship framework has helped us address skills gaps, while the success of our programme reflects the hard work and dedication of our apprentices.”

Simon Waugh, executive chairman of the National Apprenticeship Service, said: “The first Top 100 Apprenticeship employers represent the very best programmes across the country. The list includes organisations of all sizes, from a wealth of industry sectors and this highlights the benefits that apprenticeships offer to all types of employers including increased productivity and improved staff retention.”