Thirty Wiltshire and Swindon employers attended a business breakfast to find out more about apprenticeships at Trowbridge Civic Centre recently. Wiltshire Council supported the National Apprenticeship Service event which provided an insight into apprenticeships by apprentices from Qinetiq, information on how apprenticeships work, the funding and grants available and practical tips on how to recruit apprentices. Fleur de Rhe-Philipe, cabinet member responsible for economic development said: “This was an excellent opportunity for businesses to really get to the heart of the benefits of hiring an apprentice. “Since September last year we’ve been leading a campaign for 5,600 apprenticeship starts in Wiltshire which is going extremely well. These events help share the knowledge and hopefully encourage more businesses to invest in apprenticeships.” The event covered some of the main changes and reforms that will affect apprenticeships in the future including the Apprenticeship Levy, changes to employers’ NI and how training is funded. During the briefing a panel including the Skills Funding Agency and employer representation from Clarkson Evans answered any questions attendees had about apprenticeships. This event was also an opportunity for Wiltshire firms to ‘pledge’ their commitment to taking on apprentices. The “apprenticeship torch” was at the event as part of the #PassTheTorch campaign to pass on the skills and knowledge to the next generation of workers. The torch had already visited a number of local businesses across the county in the run up to the session including the recent Corsham Business Event.