FCO Services short-listed for prestigious regional apprenticeship award

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FCO Services, part of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has beaten off competition from hundreds of entrants to be short-listed for the Central Eastern final of the National Apprenticeship Awards 2014.

FCO Services provides tailored security services across the globe in some of the most challenging environments. The organisation is now a finalist in the Central Eastern BAE Systems Large Employer of the Year category, hosted by National Apprenticeship Service; an announcement will be made in September.

FCO Services Apprenticeship scheme runs for three years with training partner, Milton Keynes College, trainees work towards a BTEC Level 3 in Engineering Operations. Apprentices also gain practical experience in areas outside of their professional disciplines, such as secure logistics, procurement and project management. The apprentice programme is accredited by the Institute of Engineering and Technology.

Since 1965 FCO Services has run an apprenticeship scheme, designed to produce a skilled workforce to support operations. Over 350 technical apprentices have qualified and taken up permanent positions within the business. Many of the apprentices have travelled worldwide during their training (e.g. Paris, Washington and Bangkok as well as other places), giving them the opportunity to work alongside experienced technical teams. FCO Services apprentices have achieved Master Degrees and Fellowships, many continue to work in FCO Services enjoying their diverse work.

Danny Payne, Director of Security and Property Group, from FCO Services: “With an increasing customer base and rapid changes in engineering and technology, apprentices provide a constant ‘feed’ of new people to the organisation. They bring new ideas and invigorate business process. The valuable contribution our apprentices make to the organisation is regularly recognised through feedback from customers.”

“We are very proud of our people and the work they do to protect British interests in the UK and overseas. Our apprentices are our junior ambassadors – they play a vital role in supporting our services, developing their skills in some of the challenging projects around the world.”

The National Apprenticeship Awards, now in their eleventh year, celebrate the achievements of the country’s most outstanding apprentices and Apprenticeship employers. The award winners will be announced at a ceremony organised by the National Apprenticeship Service which will be held at the Cambridge Belfry Hotel, Cambourne on 4 September.

Sue Husband, Executive Director Apprenticeships and Delivery at the Skills Funding Agency said: “Apprenticeships are thriving in England, and it’s not hard to see why. They offer ambitious young people and adults unrivalled career prospects, and give businesses an exceptional route to grow a highly qualified and motivated workforce.
“The National Apprenticeship Awards recognise the best of the best and are an excellent opportunity for individuals and employers to gain the credit they richly deserve for investing in their own futures. I am delighted that FCO Services has been short-listed, and would like to congratulate them on this success. All of the finalists should be extremely proud of their achievements.”

All the Central Eastern winners will proceed through to a final national judging stage and the highest scoring Apprenticeship employer entries nationally will have the additional honour of featuring in the acclaimed England’s Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list, which will be produced by the National Apprenticeship Service in partnership with City & Guilds.

The national award winners will be revealed during an awards ceremony at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham on the 13 November 2014.
The National Apprenticeship Awards are sponsored by BAE Systems, BT, City & Guilds, Learndirect, Nuclear Decommissioning Site Licence Companies and Unilever.
Visit www.apprenticeships.org.uk or call 08000 150 600 to find out more about Apprenticeships.