Apprentice star launches academies

By Ian Dipple Friday 07 February 2014 Updated: 07/02 09:16

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Buy photos » Karren Brady CBE helps launch eResponse Training Academy with the company’s founders Joe and Paul Alekna. Picture by Shaun Fellows / Shine Pix

A STAR of The Apprentice and the first lady of football helped launch a trio of new training academies aimed at getting people back into work.

Karren Brady CBE - West Ham United vice chairman and former managing director of Birmingham City - was the guest speaker at the official unveiling of eResponse Recruitment’s training centres in Redditch, Worcester and Kidderminster, in front of 200 guests at Worcester’s Sixways Stadium.

The new academies can cater for up to 200 people a day and will help address skills gaps for local firms hiring workers, overseen by a team of professional trainers.

Paul Alekna, managing director of eResponse Recruitment which has a base on Church Green West, said: “The economy is accelerating and businesses here in Redditch and the wider county won’t be able to take advantage of all the opportunities presented to them unless they can find a way to get the talent needed to deliver.

“The problem is the skills gap. Employers have vacancies but what’s available in today’s labour market doesn’t always reflect what they want. And that’s where we believe we can really make a difference and address the needs of the employers we work with.”

A report by the West Midlands Regional Observatory warned a shortage of technical skills would hold back Redditch and the wider region’s economic recovery, with some companies so worried about their ability to recruit and retain staff with the necessary skills over the next decade they fear for their survival.

One in ten workers in all sectors across Worcestershire are reported to lack the skills needed to do their job currently. A recent survey of Redditch businesses carried out by Redditch Borough Council’s economic development unit and Worcestershire LEP backed up the regional findings with skills gaps highlighted in a range of sectors, particularly in manufacturing.

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