Kevin Faulkner, Director of Banham Academy

The value of apprentices in the workplace is still shockingly overlooked, which is a serious error from employers. The benefits of investing in apprentices and the immense value they can offer the growth of any business, is something that I feel passionately about and would want to encourage businesses across all sectors to get on board with more.

I am a Director of the Banham Academy, the educational leg of the Banham Group, who are the largest provider of security systems in London and the South East of England.

Our Academy is seen as one of the ‘new kids on the block’ as we have only been directly funded by the ESFA since the apprenticeship levy scheme was introduced in 2017.

We have a purpose-built academy in Earlsfield, South West London, and deliver one of the new apprenticeship standards, the Level 3 in Fire, Emergency and Security Systems.

This is a challenging, advanced apprenticeship over a period of 3 years. aimed at equipping the apprentice with all the skills required to work as a technician, installing and maintaining intruder alarms, access control and CCTV systems.

We are in a sector that has an ageing workforce with a skills shortage, so why is the apprentice take up by employers so slow?

I can understand small employers and SMEs may be hesitant to pay a co-investment fee of 10% of the apprenticeship funding value if they employ an apprentice of 19 years of age or older, but levy payers are not affected by this.

To me, that doesn’t seem fair and a change in these rules would be highly beneficial. Sadly, this is not likely at the moment so for now, let’s focus on the positives and the benefits and incentives associated with employing an apprentice:

One interesting piece of research by Sheffield University stated that a Level 3 Advanced apprentice will generate an additional lifetime benefit to themselves and their employer of £105,000 compared to someone who does not gain an apprenticeship.

This is of course incredibly positive, and it is also widely recognised that any initial investment in an apprentice would be recouped two years after completion in the more technical sectors.

I personally think that any investment by an employer is repaid before the end of the apprenticeship, but it’s how to convince employers of this.

To start with, over the three years, what we must do is list the forecasted capabilities of the apprentice at the end of year 1, 2 and of course 3, which is covered in the apprenticeship standard.

By doing this there has to be a measurement of ability at each year end, and therefore creating an internal annual assessment, that is something similar to the end point assessment, is vital.

Completing this and giving the employer the confidence that their apprentice can now do certain required tasks in the workplace will start to help pay back the initial investment associated with hiring an apprentice.

What are the other options to hiring an apprentice? You can advertise via conventional recruitment methods for a technician, and if experienced or qualified, this will come at a price.

With an apprentice, you have someone easily mouldable and extremely eager not only to learn new skills but how your Company operates.

There will be no bad habits to iron out and you can turn your apprentices into excellent engineers with your dedicated training rather than risk hiring an average engineer, not trained as you would want.

I am confident that if put to the test, apprentices who have completed Level 3 would more than exceed the skills of the average engineer.

Kevin Faulkner, Director of Banham Academy

Copyright © 2018 FE News

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page