Taking time to get to the heart of the matter

Sometimes it’s hard to see what’s right in front of you. You need a fresh pair of eyes to point out the obvious. Sometimes we’re too caught up in day-to-day routine to truly appreciate what’s around us.

That’s why, I decided in August to step back and take a long, hard look at everything Themis (the apprenticeship and business training arm of Burnley College).

It was difficult. Everyone who knows me recognises that I’m hands-on and like to be at the heart of everything. But it had to be done. You can’t see where you’re going until you know where you’ve been – and where you are right now.

And so Apprenticeship August was conceived.

An opportunity to really appreciate how Themis apprentices are transforming businesses. We don’t hear these success stories from the apprentices themselves. No, it’s all part of a day’s work for them.

We hear them from their employers (after they’ve come up with a process that has improved quality or saved money; gone above and beyond or been the driving force behind a project).

You can’t see where you’re going until you know where you’ve been

I talked to trainers about the apprentices whose skills they’re developing; their pride in those apprentices and how they’re confident there are industry leaders, innovators and future bosses among their number.

And I talked in depth to the employers at the heart of everything we do at Themis. I heard how one is already on course to recruit eight new apprentices and is coming out of Covid-19 stronger and more resilient. I talked about the future.

While many previous conversations had mostly centred on Covid-19, these latest conversations had a new feel: there was light at the end of the tunnel for many employers and a fresh focus on future planning – a future that Themis will be an active part of. It was an August well-spent. Getting to the very heart of everything that Themis is.

Seeing what Themis means to others – employers, apprentices, our amazing staff. And seeing what Themis can - and will - be in future: the catalyst for growth and prosperity on a regional and national scale.

Are you ready to start a conversation? Contact me on n.burrows@burnley.ac.uk

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