Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith paid a visit to our sister company, DPL Group, this week to discover first-hand how our successful apprenticeship scheme has helped our business evolve.
Since DPL Electrical was set up in 2001, we have dedicated our time and expertise to recruiting apprentices so that they have the opportunity to develop their skills. Comprising of 86 employees and 15 apprentices, DPL Electrical even has original apprentices still working on the team who now feature as the company’s most experienced members of staff.
Mr Duncan Smith arrived at our Greenwich Close office along with the Tory General Election candidate, Ben Gummer, and met several of our apprentices at different stages of their training, including:
- Electrical engineers
- Mechanical engineers
- Business administration apprentices
This was in light of the recent political storm in which the Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, accused the Tories of intending to eliminate child benefit if they are re-elected next week; an allegation which Mr Duncan Smith has rejected. According to Mr Alexander, in 2012 the Liberal Democrats had considered cutting £8 billion from the Child Benefit bill by restricting the amount that parents could claim.
During the election period, funding is always a hot topic for discussion. During his visit to DPL Electrical, Mr Duncan Smith was informed by company director Fran Dinsdale that young people aged just over 19 years old who are interested in doing an apprenticeship but are not funded is a major concern in the industry: “We only get full funding of apprentices up to their 19th birthday – after that we have to fund their training.
“Some people don’t really know what they want to do until they’re older, and that means we either have to take a risk and spend a lot of money on their training – or turn to younger people instead.”
Although Mr Duncan Smith has already commissioned work which looks into older apprentices, this only applied to people looking to retrain for a second career. During his visit, Mr Duncan Smith stated that he would like to look further into changing the age qualification for apprenticeships if he was re-elected, to accommodate those who are slightly older than the threshold.
With a turnover of £12 million last year and plans to build a bespoke office as part of our expansion, the staff at DPL Electrical have benefited significantly from the success of our apprenticeship programme. For further information about the company or our apprenticeship scheme, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert team today.