Young rising stars: Apprenticeships in focus for InfoComm's UK Roundtables

New pilot scheme to be explained in Leeds and London

St Albans, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, March 13, 2013 - With the UK government having extended its Apprenticeship initiative until March 2014, InfoComm International is taking the opportunity to make apprenticeships the main topic of two forthcoming Roundtable events.

The Roundtables, at Leeds Metropolitan University on Tuesday 19 March and at London's QEII Conference Centre on Thursday 21 March, will both feature a Keynote presentation titled 'Apprenticeships in the UK - What You Need to Know' from Gary Chapman of the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS).

Chris Lavelle, InfoComm's Regional Director UK & Ireland, comments: "The NAS is looking at ways of targeting SMEs in a very focused way, and has chosen InfoComm to be the second trade association in a pilot scheme whereby the Service uses information from association members to to help map apprentice frameworks and providers that makes sense for our industry.

"This is a great opportunity for the AV business, because although some of our members have already made use of the Apprenticeship initiative, it can be a challenge to find providers who offer a suitable framework for AV.

"The NAS is now committed to reaching out to InfoComm members with the aim of getting feedback on how to take this approach forward, so we are delighted that Gary will be joining us to explain how the new scheme will work."

This will be followed by a Roundtable discussion, and both events will conclude with a Networking Reception so that attendees can get the chance to know each other better in a more informal setting.

Integrating apprenticeships into business practice

Focus 21 Visual Communications Limited is one company that has integrated apprenticeships into their business practice. John Chandler, CTS, HR, Training and Safety Manager says: "Focus 21's AV Apprentice mentoring program has proven to be a success on many levels, providing the business with keen, motivated, capable and hard-working young people who have grown up immersed in "modern technology". The scheme has proven itself to be popular with existing staff who have taken a great interest in the development of these young people as they can see that the future of the Company will be in good hands."

"I would recommend the apprenticeship scheme to any young person who is well driven and is interested in kick starting a successful career into a great industry," says George Tilby, Apprentice at Focus 21 Visual Communications Limited."

Both events will begin at 2pm and are sponsored by Cisco. Attendance is free of charge to InfoComm members, £20 + VAT to non-members. To register in advance for either the Leeds or London event, please email Sarah Carless:

About InfoComm International

InfoComm International® is the international trade association representing the professional audiovisual and information communications industries. Established in 1939, InfoComm has more than 5,000 members, including manufacturers, systems integrators, dealers and distributors, independent consultants, programmers, rental and staging companies, end-users and multimedia professionals from more than 80 countries. InfoComm International is the leading resource for AV standards, market research and news. Its training, certification and education programs set a standard of excellence for AV professionals. InfoComm International is the founder of InfoComm, the largest annual conference and exhibition for AV buyers and sellers worldwide. InfoComm also produces trade shows in China, Europe, India, Latin America and the Middle East. Additional information is available at

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