Gloucestershire ‘Growing Opportunities for Apprenticeships Locally’ (GOAL)

SGS College

Education, education, education was the buzz phrase many years ago, but to ensure confidence in apprenticeships remains high (in light of the levy and declining sign ups), collaboration, collaboration, collaboration is the new mantra of four Gloucestershire institutions.

Skills Minister Anne Milton and Institute of Apprenticeship Director Gerry Berragan recently made public an open letter urging education institutions to support employers in making use of the apprenticeships. SGS College together with its partners, Gloucestershire Enterprise Limited, University of Gloucestershire and Gloucestershire College, are already working together to encourage local Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to provide apprenticeships within their business.

As part of the Growing Opportunities for Apprenticeships Locally (GOAL) European Social Funded (ESF) project, partner institutions are actively providing an impartial service to both learners and employers within Gloucestershire, raising awareness of apprenticeships, whilst helping SMEs access support from both the National Apprenticeship and Digital Apprenticeship Services.

Mapping of apprenticeship provision within Gloucestershire has also taken place with GOAL identifying gaps and supporting the development of provision to meet these needs – making it easier for businesses to know who offers what.

Additionally, the GOAL project team are giving advice and guidance to individuals seeking apprenticeships as well as providing learning to participants to overcome any barriers to starting an apprenticeship.

GOAL Project partners comment: “With the continued confusion and negative press surrounding apprenticeships, collaboration between providers is key to increasing business confidence. The primary aim of the GOAL project is to help SMEs understand the value of apprenticeships, and to guide them through the process whilst supporting potential apprentices. Ultimately, we want make it as straightforward as possible for SMEs in Gloucestershire to engage an apprentice and to help prepare candidates to take up an apprenticeship when one becomes available”.

If you are one of the many businesses still confused by apprenticeships, asking, why should I take on an apprentice, there is a simple answer.

Apprenticeships will benefit your company by boosting the skills of your workforce and helping to improve your economic productivity. Apprenticeships are real jobs with training, which enable staff to gain valuable skills and knowledge in a specific job role, and earn while they learn.  Most of the training is on-the-job, working with a mentor to learn job specific skills in the workplace; off-the job training will depend on the occupational area.

Apprenticeships are a productive and effective way for your business to grow their own talent by developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.

To get involved in the GOAL project and access this free support, please email,, or . Alternatively, please visit