Plant & Works Engineering
Vince Cable launches Apprenticeship Week celebrations
Published:  08 July, 2011

Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Education and Skills, joined VT Flagship, part of Babcock International Group, on the first day of National Apprenticeship Week 2011, to see apprenticeship training in action and talk with employers and other stakeholders about the role of apprenticeships in building a successful UK economy.
Babcock’s Training business is one of the largest in the UK, and the Secretary of State’s visit was to HMS Sultan in Gosport, where Babcock’s Engineering Training Academy, through the VT Flagship brand, delivers engineering training to EDF Energy, Network Rail and Southern Water.  There are currently 356 apprentices in training at the site, all of who are working on a three-year programme.  The Network Rail, EDF and Southern Water programmes are run on similar lines, with bespoke elements to meet the requirements of each individual employer.  The apprentices gain technical, academic and vocational qualifications at Levels 2 and 3, alongside advanced technical certificates and other accredited training such as leadership & management, life skills and key skills.
The Secretary of State toured the site, seeing state-of-the art training facilities and equipment, including a facsimile power station used by EDF apprentices and a fully working section of railway line with multi-engineering applications, housed in a hangar and used by Network Rail apprentices.  He met and spoke with apprentices in training and found out more about their experience of the apprenticeship programme and their ambitions for the future.  Following the tour, he joined employers and senior executives from Babcock along with other stakeholders, including Rachel McKellar, South East director of the National Apprenticeship Service, to listen some of the issues around apprenticeships and to answer questions.
Alex Khan, managing director for Babcock’s Education and Training business, said: “Apprenticeships are crucial to the future of the UK economy and for enabling British businesses to be competitive in global markets.  Vince Cable’s visit to Babcock’s Training Academy at HMS Sultan has underlined this fact and we were delighted to show him apprenticeship training in action.  Babcock is very pleased be part of the countrywide Apprenticeship Week celebrations and to highlight our own positive experience, both as the UK’s leading training provider and as a major employer of apprentices.”
Babcock International Group’s Engineering Training Academy was recently rated Grade 1 – Outstanding by Ofsted across all 5 areas of the inspection framework.  This rating ranks Babcock as one of the very best in the UK training market for engineering.


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