Talent – Back To The Future Of Business

A big thank you to everyone who attended our event in Tata Steel which took place on 12th April.

This event, sponsored by Human Resourcing of whom we are very grateful, focused on talent management programmes, but with a detailed overview of the recently implemented Apprenticeship Levy.

We were extremely fortune to have Jeff Protheroe, Operations Director from National Training Federation Wales and Mark Stevenson, Head of Training and Technical Capability at Tata Steel UK.

The event started with some networking time and a tour of Tata Steel’s brand new and state of the art Apprentice Training Centre. Following this, attendees gathered in one of Tata’s conference rooms where Mark Hendy, Chair of the South Wales HR Forum opened proceedings.

Following an introduction from Mark, Jeff Protheroe took to the stage to talk about the importance of apprenticeship training in Wales, including information about how the apprenticeship levy works and how businesses could maximise their training through relevant funding.

Jeff explained how over 40,000 people were on an apprenticeship programme in Wales in the 2015/16 academic year and that apprenticeships are now becoming the default position for upskilling the workplace in Wales, and that a distinction is starting to form between what an ‘apprentice’ has been historically known as, and how that is not necessarily the same as someone who is on an ‘apprenticeship’ programme.

Jeff also explained how 27% of people who have joined apprenticeship programmes already have a degree.

Jeff explained how the government is committed to creating sustainable high-quality apprenticeship programmes before explaining further details around what the apprenticeship levy is, how it will work in Wales, and how businesses could utilise it.

Following this Jeff took questions from the floor, which included remarks around priority sectors, parental involvement, and viability of reaching government targets.

Mark Stevenson, then continued the theme with a case study of Tata Steel.

Mark explained how Tata, a business with a rich history of developing talent through a range of programmes including apprenticeship and graduate schemes, and that he himself started as a graduate with the company 16 years ago.

Mark explained how Tata is heavy industry, but it is diverse and has high skilled engineering requirements. Mark explained how Tata has very strong links with the local community and is heavily involved in promoting STEM schemes, including through the offering of work placements.

Mark explained how 70% of graduate development is on the job learning, and that the schemes are accredited by professional institutes such as the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and the Institute of Engineering and Technology.

Mark discussed how 289 apprentices were recruited in Wales in the last 5 years and that there were 700 applicants alone for the scheme in 2016/17 despite the challenges the company has faced as have been well publicised.

Mark also explained how the talent development schemes are very important to the company. The company will always need a new injection of new ideas and capability, and that with a 95% retention rate on craft apprentices, the schemes are crucial to continued business success.

Mark also opened the floor for questions where attendees were interested to know about how Tata forecasted the volume of apprentices needed, and how the company kept commitment to the various programmes over the years.

Mark Hendy closed proceedings by confirming further details of upcoming events and thanking attendees for their support of the South Wales HR Forum.

For further information, please review our Twitter timeline at @SWalesHRForum