How Apprentices can Benefit your Business! - Bridgwater & Taunton College

Apprenticeships are a great way to invest in your workforce. Training apprentices in the way you want, in a real-working environment, allows you to immediately have staff in the workplace.

One reason for employers to take on apprentices is to fill specific skills gaps due to ageing employees or new technologies. Pittards, a Yeovil-based, leather manufacturing company have done just that, recruiting 16 apprentices across the business in engineering, leather making and the rapidly-expanding finished leather goods team.

Head of the UK Leather Division, Jon Loxston said, “It’s critically important to continue injecting young blood into the factory. Young people have different insights and skills, particularly around new technology. The UK is very good at making things, and joining an Apprenticeship in a manufacturing business is a good option for those who do not want to go to university.”

Other local employers, including Mulberry and Somerset Willow have also taken on apprentices to invest in their staff. International employers, such as GE Power has taken on their first cohort of trainees, believed to be the first of its kind in the South West. Nine out of the 22 trainees have moved on to become full-time members of GE Power’s prestigious Apprenticeship scheme, with the remaining 13 candidates having progressed to Apprenticeships elsewhere, or to full-time education.

From April 2016, employers will no longer be required to pay employer National Insurance contributions for apprentices (under the age of 25 on earnings up to the upper earnings limit). Small businesses may also be able to receive a £1,500 grant for apprentices aged between 16 and 24 years old.

If you would like more information about Apprenticeships at Bridgwater College, or are an employer looking for workforce training, please contact our Business Development team on 01278 655111 or email

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