New Year Training and Qualifications for Employers - Bridgwater & Taunton College

Employers can benefit their business from January 2016, with training programmes and qualifications for their employees, bespoke to their business requirements.

Bridgwater College has a plethora of courses which can be completed in the workplace, or on a block release arrangement. With courses from Health and Safety to Engineering to Horticulture, and durations varying from one day to over a year, depending on the type of programme, there is something for every industry.

Many local and national employers have worked with Bridgwater College to train their workers, including Wessex Water, where a bespoke water industry Apprenticeship programme was created.

Ali Hobbs, of Wessex Water’s human resource team said,

“This Apprenticeship provides a great opportunity for apprentices to learn the skills required for a successful career. The importance of Apprenticeships is ever-growing these days and it’s very rewarding to see young people grow and develop into the world of work.”

Somerset Willow Apprentices

In the past two years the UK Government committed significant resource to the development and funding of Apprenticeships, as a considered response to the UK-wide skills shortage. Apprenticeships are now generally acknowledged as a credible alternative to a university education, producing work-ready individuals who combine theoretical knowledge with practical skills, and who are already familiar with the culture, behaviours and expectations of the world of work. One of the many companies Bridgwater College is working with at present is Somerset Willow.

Heidi Hill from Somerset Willow said,

“It is hard when new staff start as they have to learn the basic and ancient craft of weaving before they have the skills to progress on to making our more luxury and complex products. This can take five years or more, so a lot of time and investment by us, which is why we really value our staff.”

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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