25 November 2014
The first people to complete their apprenticeships with the Trackers programme will ‘graduate’ at a special ceremony on Thursday 27 November. Among the 39 who have completed their training courses with Trackers, there are carpenters, hair dressers, care assistants, electricians and dental nurses.
Their achievements will be recognised at the inaugural Trackers Graduation Ceremony at Hautlieu. The occasion is also being used to welcome the 125 people who are new joiners and started this term. Employers from a wide range of businesses will join their apprentices at the celebration.
Andy Gibbs, ESC’s head of lifelong learning and skills, said “In December 2012 we launched with just 35 apprentices and we’ve now worked with over 230 Jersey apprentices across 15 different industry areas. We’ve reached our three-year target in just 18 months. This shows that there is local talent and demand from people to carry on learning new skills while they are working that will help them move forward in their careers. It also shows that with high quality support from Trackers mentors employers are willing to invest in their staff.”
The Trackers model is unique to Jersey. The success rate so far has been exemplary and well ahead of other apprenticeship schemes. Other jurisdictions including Ireland, Scotland, Wales and numerous EU countries have enquired about the programme. One of the major strengths is the mentor system, which supports both the employee and the employer throughout the whole apprenticeship.
Liz Hopley, a care apprentice who will be speaking at the event, has found Trackers invaluable: “The mentors are absolutely amazing and they do an amazing job. As I’m a mature student I don’t think I would have been able to finish the course without them urging me along. They were an inspiration. I recommend Trackers to people all the time.”
Employer Martin Burns, of Brady & Gallagher electrician, plumbing and air conditioning company, said “We have eight people from the Trackers programme at the moment. The focus on quality is what’s important to us. It means we can ensure the future of our business because we know that through Trackers we can tap in to local talent and have well-trained and committed engineers coming through.”
ESC Minister Deputy Rod Bryans said “The initial motivation for Trackers was to take the old concept of apprenticeships, to modernise it, make it more flexible and make it work for Jersey. This is exactly what we’ve done and it is an outstanding success. The Trackers team have been brilliant. They have enabled a wide range of people to be bold, take a chance and go out and get what they want.”
The Trackers team are developing plans to expand further in order to meet skills shortages, particularly in digital skills and finance.
Trackers so far:
- 191 people are currently enrolled
- 125 of those started this year
- there are currently 15 different apprenticeships
- Trackers works with over 100 different employers
- Trackers launched a new foundation programme for 16 - 18 year olds with the Prince’s Trust to prepare them for the workforce and help them make career choices
- Trackers launched was a programme for junior managers in the hospitality industry (in partnership with Highlands College and the Jersey Hospitality Association)