Alok Sharma, Member of Parliament for Reading West, last week visited the Reading offices of professional services and auditing firm, KPMG in Theale. Alok was invited to visit the offices to meet with Andrew Morgan, Senior Partner Thames Valley, and Jenny Baskerville, Co-head of Inclusion, Diversity and Social Equality for the firm nationally. Alok also met with a number of KPMG’s apprentices to discuss their apprenticeship experience.
Thanks to the Government’s focus on technical education, since 2010 there have been over 3.7 million apprenticeship starts in England, with around 7,000 in the Reading West constituency. The Government has also established industry designed degree-level apprenticeships which bring together the very best of higher and vocational education, and allow apprentices to achieve a full bachelor’s or master’s degree whilst training on the job in areas such as chartered surveying, aerospace engineering and nuclear engineering. Apprenticeships are part of the Government’s wider strategy to transform technical education, and we are working with industry to deliver a technical education system that will provide young people with a credible alternative to university.
Alok Sharma MP said: “It was great to visit KPMG and discuss their work on encouraging people from all walks of society to join the firm and it was really positive to meet with some of KPMG’s apprentices and talk about their experiences. There is a clear opportunity for these young people to achieve a high level apprenticeship and gain professional accountancy qualifications, and I was hugely impressed with their enthusiasm and commitment.”
Andrew Morgan said: “I was delighted to welcome Alok to our Reading office, and in particular to be able to introduce him to a number of our talented apprentices who together represent the 200 that we have recruited right across the UK over the last 12 months. Apprenticeship schemes are such an important part of our recruitment strategy, not least as we believe they help broaden the spectrum of people with different skills and life experiences who join us, which in turn, allows us to bring a diversity of perspectives to our clients.
Mr Morgan continued: “Next year we will be moving to 2 Forbury Place in the centre of Reading, a move which will enable us to recruit around a further 200 people, so I hope to meet Alok again soon as we continue to grow our presence and develop employment opportunities across the Thames Valley.”
Photo: Alok Sharma MP with Andrew Morgan, Senior Partner Thames Valley, Jenny Baskerville, Co-head of Inclusion, Diversity and Social Equality, and KPMG apprentices