Published: 07:01, 26 June 2014 |
Updated: 10:24, 26 June 2014
by Ben Kennedy
The boss of an international motor manufacturer has decided to go it alone with his own apprenticeship scheme after criticising the current system as being over-complicated.
SEM, who employ more than 180 people, will move to a new 122,500sqft headquarters at the Bridge science and business park in Dartford, bringing skilled jobs and engineering apprenticeships to the town.
Company chief Michael Laming has complained there are too many apprentice schemes in place making it difficult for employers to know where to look.
He is hoping to set up his own apprenticeship programme with the Leigh University Technical College who are also soon to open at the Bridge.
He said: “There are hundreds of schemes for apprentices. We just want one that we can go with.
“Whatever the scheme is today there will always be another one tomorrow. It is very political.
“You need to bring in a consultant to understand the rules and get what you want, which is bizarre. That can’t be right.
“That is why we are going to set up our own with Leigh UTC because we will understand that. Whether we get funding or not we will do it.”
A Department of Business, Innovation and Skills spokesperson said: “In the past, employers didn’t have enough say on the design and delivery of apprenticeships. We are determined to change that.
“We are also giving employers greater control over the funding for apprenticeships so that they can choose the best training to provide the skills that they need for their workforce.”
SEM designs and produces electric motors for industry sectors such as machine tools, renewable energy and robotics at its base in Orpington.
Their new Dartford headquarters is on schedule to complete by the end of the year.
Although the majority of SEM’s products are exported worldwide, they are set on keeping their manufacturing base in the UK.
Mr Laming said: “It probably doesn’t make economic sense to manufacture around London. We could get a government grant for doing it in the North East but then we wouldn’t have our staff.”
In light of the move, Dartford Borough Council leader Jeremy Kite said: “We are delighted to welcome SEM to the Bridge.
“The company not only has the potential to bring many skilled jobs to the town, but since it also supports engineering apprenticeships, it can offer a range of new opportunities for young people.”
The KM Group wants to get 100 businesses to take on an apprentice through its Kick Start Kent campaign.
For information about taking on an apprentice, visit www.KentBusiness.co.uk/KickStartKent or email email@example.com
From academic achievements to engineering accolades and new facilities, Kent College offers students an outstanding school life.
Enter this month’s competition and you could win a luxurious return crossing!Sponsored editorial
There's no uniform or bells and students and staff are on first name terms. School life at Rochester Independent College is unique.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
Your No1 guide to getting married in Kent. From dresses to discos and venues to veils, we've got everything you could possibly need for your big day
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating!
PLUS, register for free!.
Read our pick of the best holiday destinations. Whether its a weekend break, or something a little bit longer, we have reviewed a wide range of holidays.