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Apprenticeships On The Agenda As College Hosts LEP Meeting

MAKING apprenticeships a successful pathway to employment in the construction sector is the focus of a Solent Local Enterprise Partnership meeting at St Vincent College next week.

The Gosport college will be hosting business leaders from across the Portsmouth and Gosport area, as well as further afield, to hear Lighthouse Learning Trust chief executive Angela Berry leading the discussion.

Construction companies, particularly SMEs are being encouraged to come along on March 30 from 7.30am to 9.30am, where guest speakers Debbie Tappin, apprenticeship operations manager for Capita, and Cassandra Fisher, group head of industry placements and connections at the West Suffolk Colleges Group, will be discussing the route to making apprenticeships a success.

She and the guest speakers will be giving advice and guidance on being involved at every stage of construction apprenticeships, from the selection process and supporting companies during the programme through to maximising the employment of apprentices on completion.

Lighthouse Learning Trust encompasses St Vincent and Richard Taunton Sixth Form College in Southampton. Mrs Berry said: “As a trust one of our strategic aims is to forge strong partnerships with businesses to ensure that all students embark on career led pathways to meaningful careers.  None of this can be achieved without the support of employers so we look forward to seeing them there.”

St Vincent College principal Andy Grant added: “We are delighted to host this employer event because we pride ourselves on our offer of career-led qualifications and links with partners.  Apprenticeships are critical in the government’s levelling up agenda and, working with the LEP, we hope to play a major role in this.”

The college believes that working with Solent LEP, which is mentioned in the government’s levelling up White Paper as an area for investment, is vital to achieving the targets for employment set by the government.

It says by 2030 the number of people successfully completing high-quality skills training will have significantly increased in every area of the UK. In England, this will lead to 200,000 more people successfully completing high-quality skills training annually.

Solent LEP is a locally owned partnership between businesses and local authorities and plays a central role in determining local economic priorities and work to drive economic growth.

Rachael Randall, chair of the Solent LEP’s Skills Advisory Panel, said: “Ensuring our region has the skills employers need, and young people, or those looking for a career change, have the opportunities to follow rewarding career paths, is vital to the economic prosperity of our region.

“We are focused on targeting the skills requirements in key sectors in the Solent such as construction, raising the profile of careers and training opportunities, and bringing together employers, supply chain and education providers to address skills issues and build long-term resilience in the industry.”

Book a place at the meeting at To find out more about opportunities at St Vincent, go to

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