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Shadow apprenticeships minister reopens Chesterfield training academy

Shadow apprenticeships minister reopens Chesterfield training academy

Face-to-face learning is back on the agenda at GBS Apprenticeships after the training provider marked its 10th birthday by reopening its Chesterfield academy.

Toby Perkins, the Labour MP for Chesterfield, cut the ribbon as the company welcomed back learners for the first time in almost four months on 16 July.

The company – a specialist training provider in the digital, and leadership and management sectors – had switched its operation to online learning when national Covid-19 lockdown was imposed on 23 March.

Penny Guard, co-founder of the family-run company and its director for quality, called it a “key milestone” for GBS.

She said: “Although recent events have meant a slight shift in delivery, the team has worked hard to ensure we are still delivering high-quality training to the future workforce, and we hope we can continue to support young people back into work and ensuring employers have the right skillsets within their businesses to thrive.”

GBS provides apprenticeships, commercial training, e-learning and consultancy services to both national and local learners from its Chesterfield headquarters.

The closure gave the company the chance to create two new units within the building, including a digital training room, and health and wellbeing room.

Apprenticeships have been identified as critical to the UK’s economic recovery by the Government, which will reward every business that takes on an apprentice aged 16 to 24 with a £2,000 fee as part of its £2bn Kickstart Scheme.

Mr Perkins, who was carrying out his first public engagement since being appointed as shadow minister of apprenticeships and lifelong learning, said: “In terms of the economic challenges that are facing the country at the moment, apprenticeships have never been more important.

“To have an organisation based here in Chesterfield that is performing on the national stage, and on the local stage, providing excellent quality learning for young people around the town and bringing the next generation through is exactly what we want.”

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