Stuart Barr
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26th Aug 2015

StuartBarrCDR works with the Federation of Master Builders as a 'Trailblazer' for new Government Apprenticeship Initiative.

Stuart Barr, Director of the Oxfordshire based construction company StuartBarrCDR, is quoted in last weeks government press release, stating his views on the importance of apprenticeship schemes for young people. As an ex-apprentice himself, Stuart understands the value of learning a trade from grass roots. StuartBarr Construction Design Renovation has long believed in training from within, having run a thriving apprenticeship scheme since 2008. Following a two week work experience trial each year, a handful of young people join the scheme.The StuartBarrCDR and BarrJoinery apprenticeship scheme is a formal two or three year program through which apprentices are trained and mentored onsite or in the workshops, alongside college day release where they work towards NVQ level 2 and 3 qualifications.

Last weeks government press release unveiled David Cameron’s plans to boost apprenticeships and transform training programs. The government outlined radical changes to boost apprenticeship numbers and drive up quality of courses, giving businesses a say in how they are run.

The changes include:

  • An apprenticeship levy set, to be introduced in 2017, to level the playing field so every big company plays their part in delivering a new generation of skilled apprentices and industry-led training standards to meet their needs
  • A One Nation government pledge to create 3 million apprenticeships by 2020 including a requirement to take a company’s apprenticeship offer into account when awarding large government contracts.
  • Publishing of new ‘industry standards’ so that apprentices have the skills that companies need.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: The greatest asset any employer has is their workforce; and by investing in them, they are investing in the success and future of their business. As a one nation government, we are committed to supporting 3 million quality apprenticeships over the next 5 years – to help strengthen our economy, deliver the skills that employers need and give millions more hardworking people financial security and a brighter future.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said: Skilled people are the lifeblood of a strong economy but for too long UK businesses have invested too little in developing their employees’ skills to meet the demands of a competitive, global market. The apprenticeship levy will ensure that businesses invest in skills and training and will act as a much needed shot in the arm for the country’s productivity.

Stuart Barr, Director of StuartBarrCDR Ltd, said:  It’s good to see the government taking the bull by the horns in terms of apprenticeship training. Delivering 3 million new apprenticeships over the next 5 years is a huge challenge – collecting a levy from all large firms could help increase apprenticeship training across all business sectors.

The amount that UK businesses have invested in training has fallen consistently over the last 20 years and UK productivity now lags behind other major Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.  It seems that in this area it is the smaller companies leading the field and setting the example. Industry associations, such as The Federation of Master Builders help by setting training standards and supporting schemes like the one run by StuartBarrCDR.

The first 8 trailblazers began in October 2013 and there are now over 140 Trailblazer groups that so far have collectively delivered or are in the process of delivering, over 350 standards. StuartBarrCDR is proud to be pioneering the scheme as part of the Federation of Master Builders trailblazer group.

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