The House of Commons was the prestigious setting for a special ‘dissemination’ and networking event celebrating the end of the successful first phase of the Apprenticeship Staff Support Programme (ASSP) project which is helping boost the number of apprenticeships in London. (4th December 2014)

The event, hosted by Stephen Hammond the Member of Parliament for Wimbledon, and organised by Capital Training Group and Merton Chamber of Commerce, brought together 34 employer engagement practitioners from training providers across the capital who had taken part in London ASSP project.  As well as hearing about its success, ‘graduates’ of the project were congratulated by Stephen Hammond and presented with a certificate of Continuing Professional Development.

Wimbledon based Capital Training Group Ltd in partnership with Merton Chamber of Commerce was awarded the contract to deliver the London ASSP project by the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) as part of a nationwide programme to ‘develop staff to achieve best outcome for learners’.

The ASSP contract for London builds on the good practice developed by Merton’s Economic Wellbeing Group and Merton Chamber of Commerce’s ‘Take One’ campaign that has created over 150 new Apprenticeship places through brokering a partnership between businesses, training providers and young people.

Merton Chamber’s CEO Diana Sterck, the driving force behind the ‘Take One’ initiative, said: “Increasing the number of Apprenticeships within small and medium enterprises undoubtedly represents a challenge but it is one of the top priorities to help address the employment and skills needs of London. New plans are being developed to put employers in the driving seat by giving them control over the funding of Apprenticeship training, so it is vital for the capital’s training providers to improve and develop their relationships with local business. Our programme helps providers achieve this with an on line staff training toolkit, by sharing current good practice and the expertise we have gained through the Take One initiative and by offering expert advice and support.”

A total of 64 employer engagement practitioners from colleges, private and voluntary sector training providers took part in four ASSP project workshops held in venues across the capital in October 2014.

Shirley Woodcock, Business Development Manager at Capital Training Group confirmed: “The feedback from our London workshops revealed training providers’ ambitious plans for growing the number of SMEs they currently engage with in the short and long term.  Delegates at our workshops estimated they are currently working with 6,336 employers across the capital.  The same group of delegates is projecting that in the short term (6 months) they are planning to increase engagement by over 40% and in the long term (12 months) they are aiming for a massive 140% increase to engage with over 15,000 SMEs.  The London ASSP project is delighted to be playing a part in helping training providers achieve their goals.”

The London ASSP project is one of 14 national projects managed by the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) which is commissioned and funded by the Education and Training Foundation.  The London ASSP project resources are currently available in draft form (awaiting moderation by AELP January 2015) at

Photo caption: ‘Graduates’ of the London Apprenticeship Staff Support Programme project celebrate success with Stephen Hammond MP (centre) at the House of Common on 4th December 2014.



About Capital Training Group

Capital Training Group (CTG) (http://) is a private training company based in Wimbledon delivering funded training on behalf of the Skills Funding Agency (SFA). The company has successfully delivered post 16 education and employability skills for over three years achieving considerable success for local employers and their staff. The company not only delivers Apprenticeships but also employs four Apprentices across its group of companies. Website: Twitter: @CTGWimbledon

About Merton Chamber of Commerce

Merton Chamber of Commerce is a limited company and non-profit making organisation which was set up in 1992. Its overall objective is to protect and develop the interests of the business community based in the London Borough of Merton, South London.

Merton Chamber of Commerce is also a business support agency and has a customer base of around 4000 businesses. Services include a business Helpdesk, business development workshops, one to one business advice, a Go Green service, help in raising finance as well as in the recruitment and support of young people.

Website  Twitter: @MertonChamber

About the Association of Employment and Learning Providers

The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) is the leading trade association for vocational learning and employment providers in Britain. The majority of its 660+ members are independent private, not-for-profit and voluntary sector training and employment services organisations. Membership is open to any provider committed to

quality provision and it includes over 30 FE colleges involved in work based learning. AELP Members deliver 70% of England’s Apprenticeships, and are also at the forefront of traineeship and Study Programme delivery. Website: Twitter: @AELPUK

About The Education and Training Foundation

Set up to improve professionalism and standards in the further education and skills sectors, The Education and Training Foundation sets professional standards and provides support to ensure learners benefit from a well-qualified, effective and up-to-date professional workforce supported by good leadership, management and governance.

Website: Twitter @E_T_Foundation

About the Apprenticeship Staff Support Programme (ASSP)

The Apprenticeship Staff Support Programme was commissioned to ‘Develop staff to achieve the best outcomes for learners’. The Education and Training Foundation made £717k of funding available as part of Phase 1 for the design and delivery of innovative and high quality professional development support, resources and materials which can be accessed by, and will benefit, the wider education and training workforce in order to improve outcomes from Apprenticeship programmes for learners and employers. The programme is managed by AELP, along with programme partners AoC, HOLEX, 157 Group, NIACE, and the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.

Website: and Twitter: @AELPUK