The torch, which symbolises the passing of knowledge from one generation to the next, made an appearance at the Build your future talent pipeline event on 23 March, aimed at encouraging employers to pledge their support for apprenticeships.

A total of 33 pledges were made on the day by local companies for more than 65 new apprenticeships, with more pledges expected. This builds on the momentum of National Apprenticeship Week 2016 and the Government’s commitment to reach three million apprenticeship starts by 2020.

Here Neil Cain, Operations Director, John O’Conner and Claire Nicholson-Clinch, Regional Projects Manager, ACER (Association of Colleges East of England) hand the 'apprenticeship' torch to Ugo Foods Group Lee Moss, Director, Prabhjot Rajasansir, General Manager, and Samantha Hatton, HR Manager.

Read the full Press Release here 

The event has been positively received by local employers and MPs:

David Gauke, MP for South West Hertfordshire:

“Apprenticeships are a superb way for young people to earn as they learn and, crucially, to enable employers to grow the skills they need for the future. It is heartening to see so many businesses in Hertfordshire willing to pledge their support to develop young people in the workplace by offering good quality apprenticeship programmes.”

Neil Cain, Operations Director, John O’Conner:

“It’s been such a fabulous event today to meet lots of new companies who are starting the [apprenticeship] journey. I just hope they all keep in touch with us because it is rewarding for all businesses.”

Jay Wheeler, Managing Director, Red Potato:

“Employers need to get off the fence and….show some humility when they’re thinking about employing young people, and that we, as employers, also don’t always get it right. I think it’s been a really terrific event.”

View Presentation Slides from the day. 

View Red Potato's video which challenges some of of the misconceptions employers have about taking on young people.