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Developing a skilled workforce

David Catanach director ISA-UK
David Catanach
Students working on machines as part of an apprenticeship
It is vitally important to ensure that apprenticeships are available to all, that they are rich in knowledge and fit for purpose.

Hiring an apprentice is a productive and effective way in which to develop a motivated and skilled workforce. We asked David Catanach, director ISA-UK what initiatives the newly formed Education and Training Committee is taking to develop this important resource for the sign industry.

What kind of training initiatives and apprenticeships are you offering to the sign industry?

The ISA-UK Council is aspirational in trying to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to learn the core aspects of this industry. The signage industry specific apprenticeship had to be an employer-led project as demanded by the Government.

Employer members of the ISA UK Council took the initiative and lead on this to came together and ensure the new apprenticeship was challenging and diverse making it is fit for purpose for the industry for years to come.

In addition, ISA-UK actively supports and helps finance training in more specific areas such as the Make It Happen courses (see page xx) that focuses on fascia and built-up letter fabrication through to wrap courses and specific product knowledge on many areas.

Our plans for future initiatives is to extend this offering for our members by offering training for further areas including marketing, financial awareness and RAMs.

What has the level of response been in past years and what do you hope for in 2021?

There is always a small core of business owners who have continually looked to improve and develop. We feel that there are many other businesses though that could benefit from the support and guidance that has been created, so we are concentrating our efforts to increase the range of benefits available and the visibility of them to encourage and welcome those sign businesses that want to raise their standards and quality.

Why do you think it is important to offer apprenticeships?

ISA-UK believe it is vitally important to ensure that apprenticeships are available to all, that they are rich in knowledge and fit for purpose. ISA-UK Council is aspirational in ensuring that everyone has every opportunity to learn the core aspects of this industry.

What has been the level of demand for apprentices from businesses?

We have already had a very positive response from employers in the industry around the new standard and our aspirations for it so we expect it to be more popular than the previous framework, which was in itself already well received.

Why employ an apprentice?

Apprentices can be employed at different levels from school leavers and university graduates to people who want to further their careers or change career direction completely.

You can hire someone new or upskill an existing employee.

As an employer you can obtain funding from the government to help pay for apprenticeship training.

www.uksigns.org