City businesses urged to ‘Join the Skills Revolution’ in new government campaign as Southsea nursery praises T Level apprenticeships - but MP warns that young people need more support ‘after a decade of decline’

A PORTSMOUTH nursery manager says that T Level students are ‘the future’ of her business as the government launches a campaign to boost business growth in 2022.

Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 4:45 pm

Research from a Censuswide survey shows that 70 per cent of employees are more interested in developing workplace skills this year compared to 2021.

Bosses are being urged to make the most of this appetite for learning new work skills as the ‘Join the Skills Revolution’ campaign plans to up-skill the workforce in apprenticeships, training, and T Levels - while offering incentives for employers.

Bramble Infant School and Nursery in Southsea, which provides for 343 children aged from six months to seven years, hosted two T Level Havant and South Downs College students on industry placements last year.

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Sharon Widnell, deputy nursery manager

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One student is continuing to gain further industry experience in the nursery, whilst the other is taking time to work with older children in school.

Sharon Widnell, deputy nursery manager, said: ‘T Levels are a fantastic way to ensure students get the right mix of classroom based knowledge and a real taste of the workplace.

‘We will assist any student who wants to achieve a career in childcare.

Bramble Nursery

‘We really do think that the T Level students are a worthy investment of our time and energy. ‘They are the future of our business and it is important that we pass on the baton of good practice to our younger counterparts’.

The introduction of the T Levels incentive payment for employers is also welcome news for the school.

Sharon said: ‘The introduction of the T Levels incentive payment for employers is welcomed in our sector, enabling businesses like ours to enhance further the teaching and learning opportunities we can offer students.’

However, this comes as Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan says he is concerned about a ‘skills shortage’ in the city.

He said the number of apprenticeships started in Portsmouth has fallen by 42 per cent since 2015 - equivalent to 900 fewer apprenticeships over the last six years.

Labour said the government’s Skills Bill would ‘create new structures and bureaucracies, but will do little to tackle the major skills shortages in key sectors including, health and social care, manufacturing or engineering’.

Mr Morgan said: ‘Our apprentices make an enormous contribution to our city’s economy and wider society, but government is not doing enough to support local young people after a decade of decline.

‘Ministers should adopt Labour’s plan to create thousands of new apprenticeships this year, securing the opportunities young people need to gain productive skills and support our economy to prosper.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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