The University of Wolverhampton hosted the City of Wolverhampton Annual Skills Dinner 2018 in partnership with City of Wolverhampton Council as part of the City Business Programme.
The theme of the Skills Dinner was ‘Improving Apprenticeships in the City of Wolverhampton’ and over 100 guests attended including employers, training providers, school and college heads and city partners from across a range of business sectors.
David Loughton CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, was guest speaker at the event. He started his career as an Engineering Apprentice before taking up a role in the National Health Service.
He said: “I was not academic at all, I’m dyslexic and I left school when I was 16. I did a five year Engineering Apprenticeship, worked on the shop floor, then got into management and the rest is history. I was a Chief Executive by the time I was 33 and a lot of it was down to the grounding that I had and the skills I learned during my Apprenticeship.”
Jackie Dunne, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “The University is a sector leader in Degree Apprenticeships – we now have over 700 Degree Apprentices studying across three of our faculties and we plan to grow this over the next few years.
“There’s a real buzz around Wolverhampton at the moment and without a doubt we can achieve so much more together than we can individually. We’ve seen first-hand what Apprenticeships can do for businesses but we also know that there’s a perception that they are only for 16 to 18 year olds or only available in trade sectors.
“The Skills Dinner not only celebrated the achievements of Apprentices in the region, but highlighted the wide range of opportunities that are available to businesses considering taking the Apprenticeship route.”
Jack Strickland, Clerical Assistant at the City of Wolverhampton Council who studied for a Level 2 Apprenticeship in Business Administration, said: “I went into full-time education after leaving school but realised it wasn’t for me, I hate sitting in a classroom and I wanted to get into work. I realised I didn’t have the qualifications I needed to get the job I wanted which was why I chose the Apprenticeship pathway.”
Picture caption from left to right: Jackie Dunne, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University, Jack Strickland, former Apprentice at City of Wolverhampton Council, David Loughton CBE, Chief Executive at Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and Michele Roberts, Head of the Apprenticeship Hub at the University.