A Hampshire based insurance company that runs its own apprenticeship programme has welcomed the call by a Conservative MP that apprenticeships deserve the same treatment as those studying for a degree. Be Wiser Insurance employs more than 600 people across Hampshire and Wiltshire, runs several apprenticeship programmes and recently launched the first ever, BA (Hons) Insurance degree with the University of Chichester and Peter Symonds College in Winchester.
Now North West Hampshire MP, Kit Malthouse has backed calls for The University and College Admissions Service (Ucas) to get involved with apprenticeships, supporting recent comments made by Richmond MP, Rishi Sunak who said: “If we’re serious about spreading opportunity to everybody, we need Ucas for apprenticeships. By making Ucas the home of apprenticeships as well as universities we can bolster the confidence of teachers, students and parents, amongst whom the Ucas brand carries considerable status.”
Kit Malthouse, whose constituency includes the town of Andover said,” I have met some of the apprentices and staff at Be Wiser and it’s fantastic to see an Andover company offering young people a great start to their careers. If we are to get more young people into high quality and meaningful apprenticeships, like those at Be Wiser, then we need to provide a better method of doing it.”
The 250 apprentices within Be Wiser range from school or college leavers to University Graduates. All apprentices are studying for either their Certificate or Diploma in Insurance from the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).
“I agree with putting apprenticeships on an equal footing with university study,” said Crescens George, Director of Learning and Development at Be Wiser. “It is often parents who are unsure if an apprenticeship is right for their son or daughter. If all apprenticeship programmes had the support of Ucas, a well -known body, then I am sure more parents would be happy for this as a career path for their child.”
Earlier this year Be Wiser won an accolade for its apprenticeship programme by winning the Newcomer Large Employer of the Year at the South East regional apprenticeship awards.