For the first time in as long as I can remember YBG had an all male contingent. YBG is open to all and takes pride in the fact that our ladies are often the leading lights of the group. We are also not a regimented group and attendance, whilst expected, is not enforced. We are a friendly and informal group. So on this very odd occasion when all the stars aligned and our female colleagues were out making money, cakes, graphics, or the world just a better place, the boys had fun.
Gladly our visitor was Tina Paul from Serco who would be joining us later and leading the insight on apprenticeship funding but until that time, boys will be boys and we giggled like girls. Graeme from Remous had a little play at being the full blown chair of the group as he is due to step up to cover Paul's leave next meeting. It didn't take him long to get into his stride and was dishing out yellow cards all around the table for misdemeanors and heckling during the testosterone fueled around the table update.
Tina Is a passionate business woman. She runs her own business and also works as an apprenticeship ambassador for Serco. The role is to both support the providers of training and to help businesses understand and possibly realise their own training needs.
The training is very much built from the perspective of what the business needs and whilst Tina doesn't deliver it herself she can help build bespoke packages. Staff are a vital resource and anything that can be done by the small business to help maximise their potential can only help growth.
Tina has recently been helping with financial awareness and customers service as well as gearing local businesses up to exploit the opportunities that the Hinkley supply chain provides. She works closely with the growth hub and is a broker for training and a signpost for support and most importantly funding can be provided in many cases.
The government has a target of 3 million apprenticeships by 2020. Apprenticeships are a great way to add value to staff and can Tina can help even at level 2-3 or higher. Whilst funding is more difficult apprenticeships are not exclusive for the traditional school leaver.
So it may be a mans world but if he wants to get on, grow and learn he needs the help of good employers who need the benefit of a woman like Tina to make it happen.