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Rod Kenyon, Director of the Apprenticeship Ambassadors Network, was among speakers at the Skills Conference for Employers hosted by Uxbridge College.

Employers from west London looked at ways of building a better-skilled workforce at an event at Uxbridge College.

The Skills Conference for Employers covered the benefits of training staff through Apprenticeships and tailor-made courses.

The number of Apprentices being taken on by employers is growing, with companies such as Tesco, BT, British Gas and the catering firm Compass Group plc using their Apprenticeship programmes as a key route to skilling their workforces.

Delegates at the event included managers from British Airways, The Clancy Group, Honeywell, Bupa, Energy Fitness Professionals, Hillingdon Council, The Mall Pavilions and The Chimes shopping centres, Hillingdon Association of Voluntary Services, Hillingdon Chamber of Commerce, and Ruislip Manor Chamber of Commerce.

Speakers were: Rod Kenyon, Director of the Apprenticeship Ambassadors Network; Jessie Buscombe, Employer Services Director for the National Apprenticeships Service; Steve Matharu, General Manager of Courtwood Car Services, and Sanjay Suri, Commercial Manager at Uxbridge College.

Sanjay Suri, Commercial Manager at Uxbridge College, said: "It was great to see so many top people from the business community at Uxbridge College's skills conference. There is so much scope for employers to train their staff in exactly the way they need to - and better-trained staff means better business. From tailor-made short courses to recognised and statutory qualifications, Uxbridge College can offer everything employers need."

Rod Kenyon, Director of the Apprenticeship Ambassadors Network, said: "Uxbridge College has a tremendous record of employer engagement and training of Apprentices. I am delighted to hear of their plans to double their number of Apprentices this year. Investment in skills is so important at this time with a downturn in the economy and so many young people unemployed".

Jessie Buscombe, Employer Services Director at the National Apprenticeship Service said: "We were delighted to see so many influential employers gather for the Skills Conference at Uxbridge College. Apprenticeships are vital to London's economic growth. With nearly 200 different job roles, there should be a programme to suit Apprentices and businesses from most sectors. This event was particularly useful in bringing together employers of Apprentices in order that ideas and best practice could be shared."

Steve Matharu, General Manager of Courtwood Car Services, said: "It's all about training, training, training - young people who come in to your business will learn to work the way you want them to work. Any investment in training is an investment into your business - I can tell you that for a fact."

Mr Matharu trains motor mechanics through Uxbridge College and recently became one of the College's Employer Champions.

Les Drussel, Chair of Ruislip Manor Chamber of Commerce, said:"It was a very informative conference - the speakers were excellent, and I certainly learnt a lot and met some interesting people whilst networking. Looking forward to the next conference."

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