UCB provides seriously cool apprenticeships

June 2014

UCB have partnered up with Planet Ice and Silver Blades to implement employment and training initiatives designed to recruit, educate, nurture and develop young people within the ice rink and ice sports industries. 

The initial stage of the partnership will be to recruit approximately 50 young people into Apprenticeships at Planet Ice and Silver Blades rinks, allowing them to earn an income above the national minimum apprenticeship wage.  Instead of offering a generic Apprenticeship, Apprentices will be offered the opportunity to participate in specialist programmes focusing on Customer Service, Ice Maintenance, Marketing, Sports Development and Catering. 

The new initiative works in line with the Government’s apprentice scheme which aims to employ people on a ‘Learn and Earn’ basis, and available to people of 16 years and upwards. Planet Ice’s John Neville commented: “I am a passionate believer in the value of apprenticeships and there is no better way to move with the rapid changes that are occurring in our industry than to invest in developing the next generation.” 

Vernon Neil, Operations Director for the Silver Blades brand added: “Ice Rinks are unique and we need to ensure that we provide targeted career development to our staff rather than trying to provide generic courses that simply provide an overview rather than a career. By partnering with a Tier 1 Education Provider and securing a full-time Assessor to support and mentor the apprentices we believe we can drive the ice rink industry to a new level.” 

The second stage will be to provide career development opportunities ranging from NVQs through to Master level Degrees in addition to providing opportunities for the local communities surrounding each ice rink to access educational and training opportunities. 

Professor Ray Linforth, Vice Chancellor and Principal of UCB, said: “UCB are delighted to be working with Planet Ice and Silver Blades and are very much looking forward to this partnership going from strength to strength.” 

The relationship between UCB, Planet Ice and Silver Blades is initially for a term of 3 years, showing the commitment of all involved and is seen as the start of a long-term plan to provide robust, sustainable careers underpinned by on-going professional development.