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Exclusive – Hugh Pitman, Chairman of JHP Group

In JHP Group we believe in celebration ““ in particular, we celebrate with the 16,000 young people and unemployed adults who come on our programmes each year when they achieve a job. Employment is so fundamental to everything we do and so essential to every individual. It gives people a sense of their own worth; self-confidence in the possession of the skills and qualifications we can enable them to achieve; and of course the money to attain and enhance a decent standard of living.

That is why the work-based learning route is so vital: far and away the most valuable way for people to learn is on an employer’s premises, where they follow a carefully structured and supported programme of skills development. This method of learning offers something exciting and new, and of real value to learners who can see its direct relevance to this own situation. Many will be in a job already, but even these people, and their employers, will benefit hugely from their participation on an Apprenticeship or other relevant programme giving them the actual ownership of skills and qualifications.

Where it is necessary for learners to have further help with their literacy and numeracy, and where, as is the case with virtually everybody, people can benefit from improving their life skills, we make sure that this help also is available within the programmes we provide. Young people aged 14 to 16 when still within the school system; those leaving school at 16; and those continuing their formal education after this point; will all benefit immensely from real work experience with an employer.

Within JHP Group, we work with tens of thousands of companies across the UK; many of whom use the work-based learning system as their normal method of recruiting young people and other new staff.

The partnerships that JHP Group have developed in schools and colleges; with other complementary work-based learning providers covering different occupational areas; with the Connexions Service and with our Government funding partners, all link together to provide employers with staff who are well-trained and motivated to contribute the maximum to those companies, and meet the ever-changing skills needs of the areas in which they work.

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Over the last 23 years, since JHP Group developed from Pitman plc, we have been able to help with their vocational education, skills training, employment opportunities and career development over 300,000 people ““ all through the benefits of work-based learning.

The Government ““ and all political parties ““ are committed to the concept of work-based learning. They intend to increase the number of Apprenticeships and Advanced Apprenticeships; to enable young people while still at school to learn vocational skills in the workplace ““ not instead of but as well as their academic studies.

And, through new and innovative programmes delivered in new and flexible ways addressed to particular groups of young people and adults, to commit further to the support of those organisations such as JHP Group which are totally convinced that work-based learning is the way forward both for the individual and for the United Kingdom.

We intend to ensure that these opportunities are increasingly available to everyone.

Hugh Pitman, Chairman, JHP Group Ltd.

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