Doncaster boys’ football team scores success with sponsorship deal with training firm

Bessacarr U11s Greens have clinched a deal with the Hallgate based firm which will see the team, based at Cantley Park, carry the firm’s logo on its shirts next season. The team’s players gathered at the firm’s offices with manager Jon Cook and Free2Learn chief commercial officer Andy Hibbitt for a photo shoot.

Graduates VS Apprentices. What are businesses really looking for?

On the one hand, those with the potential for leadership. The idealists fit for the long run, with the mindset to move up through the ranks from day one. On the other hand, the pragmatic. The work-ready with practical skills and tailored niche knowledge, who can impact their team’s productivity right from the start.


Apprenticeships have been for far too long overshadowed by university degrees, and affected by a distorted perception in the UK. With the job market being more competitive than ever, employers became hesitant to hire and train young people under the wrong assumptions. However, ideas that apprenticeships involve too much effort; that they serve few industries; or that they have a lower status than college-based learning, is becoming obsolete.


Today, not only is there a range of training offers for over 170 industries, there is also an increasing awareness that businesses should accommodate both graduates and apprentices. So much so, that apprenticeships have reached record highs during the 2015 academic year. In England alone, organisations have welcomed 871,800 young learners, finding the skills they need for the growth they seek.


The rise of a new perception


Employers begin to understand that, in having to invest time training entry-level candidates, it turns out to be more productive to get hands-on staff; easily moldable into the organisations’ ways; without graduate salary demands for the duration of their training. Top brands such as BMW, Unilever, Virgin and BBC are among the businesses that better understand this reality. BAE Systems, one of the world’s leading providers of technology-led defense solutions, recruits over 400 apprentices each year in the UK; an example to show that wrong assumptions don’t necessarily correspond to the truth.


Yes, it is true that the term ‘apprenticeship’ has been misused to promote low-quality courses, getting young unemployed people into low-skilled, low-paid jobs with few progression opportunities. That is why the government is seeking to shield the term, in the same way that the title ‘degree’ is protected by legislation – to ensure that these comply with high standards and gain the same respect as higher education. And that is also why successful businesses choose legitimate providers who can prepare young professionals to integrate organisations’ culture and values. Giving them a sense of purpose, beyond functionality. Employers can (and should) design high-quality programmes in collaboration with the right partners, to recruit new talent and upskill existing employees.


Companies preparing to embrace apprenticeships and traineeships as they do graduate programmes, will not only acquire relevant skills to enhance their productivity, they will actively contribute to the socio-economic evolution in the UK. For a little perspective, half of young Germans choose apprenticeships over universities, securing long-term employment and efficiently benefiting their country. And apparently, their economy isn’t looking so bad: it is the strongest in Europe, with the lowest youth unemployment rates, and the fourth-largest economy by nominal GDP in the world. Food for thought.


To learn more about our apprenticeship programmes, call us on 01302 373 003. 


Over 2200 Apprenticeships added to this year’s mission

Following a partnership signed in December 2015 with one of Britain’s leading retail chains, The Range has invited Free2Learn at Work to help deliver apprenticeships programs to more than 200 new learners and upskill over 2000 employees all over the UK. Great news to follow up the National Apprenticeships Week. #NAW2016  


The widely known home, garden and leisure retail chain The Range has partnered with Free2Learn at Work and F2L’s recruiting associates Vision Apprentices to upskill their current workforce, and offer career opportunities to hundreds of young unemployed. A perfect way to follow up the National Apprenticeships Week for Free 2 Learn at Work.


The Range, listed as one of Britain’s leading mid-market private firms, aims to provide 20 apprenticeships for existing staff and recruit two new young apprentices for every store – in over 100 stores.


As one of the UK’s top entrepreneurs, the founder Chris Dawson knows how important it is to invest in people’s potential and give them opportunities to progress. As such, it is equally important to trust the right partners to ensure that the teams are well taken care of, that new recruits are well selected, properly trained and integrated into the company’s culture.


The partnership between Free2Learn at Work at Vision Apprentices is a clever move to provide a one-stop shop to The Range and meet their high standards at a national level. While Vision Apprentices will be screening and recruiting candidates, Free2Learn at Work will be delivering five programs to new and existing employees:

– Business Administration

– Management

– Team Leading

– Warehousing

– Customer Service


There is a wave of enthusiasm at Free2Learn that comes along with pursuing its passion for improving lives through learning while contributing to a productivity enhancement in businesses and organisations.  Andrew Hibbitt, Customer Service & Sales Director at Free2Learn at Work says: “It is a real pleasure to be part of this project. Not only because we’re working with another great client but also because, yet again, we can impact people’s lives by preparing them to start a career or progress in their existing one.”


On the other hand, Stevie Wray-Marriott, Manager at Vision Apprentices, shares Free 2 Learn at Work’s excitement stating that this partnership enables both companies “to support young people to kick-start their career by gaining key skills and qualifications whilst working with one of Britain’s largest employers.”


To learn more about our apprenticeship programmes, call us on 03333 110 157 or email