Slough based Dominique Unsworth BEM, Managing Director of Resource Productions, who have been members of the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce for more than four years, has been named the SME Apprenticeship Ambassador by Skills Minister Anne Milton.
As the National SME Ambassador, she will be responsible for raising ongoing awareness about the important role apprenticeships continue to play in the business world. Developing strategic partnerships with high profile organisations including the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce, who have direct links with SME businesses, schools, local colleges and universities, helping create engaging programmes to encourage the next generation of apprentices and businesses to work together. Information, results and feedback will be relayed directly back to the Government to help shape the agenda.
Previously Dominique chaired the Thames Valley Apprenticeship Ambassador Network (TVAAN) with Resource Productions appearing in the Top 100 National Apprentice Employers list for more than three years. She commented: “My journey started in 2009 when I hired my first apprentice as an extra pair of hands and have been overwhelmed by the support and loyalty shown during this time. Over the years the business has grown, and we now employ seven members of staff, including one current apprentice and three former apprentices. It wasn’t long before I started volunteering at schools to help promote the initiative locally and gain traction. I have always strongly advocated that apprenticeships helped me find the necessary talent needed for my business to not only help me grow the organisation but also retain staff.
“The importance of making sure small business owners are aware of the value that an apprentice can bring to the table is paramount, particularly those from the charity and social enterprises sectors that might be already work for the organisation in a voluntary capacity. Whilst the idea of apprenticeships is often seen as something for the young, this is far from the case, and anyone, at any age can become one.”
Paul Britton, Chief Executive of the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce commented: “Absolutely fantastic news to hear about Dominique’s new role and we look forward to working with her more closely over the coming months. We share her passion and enthusiasm and fully understand the crucial role apprentices can play in an organisation, particularly an SME where those taken on have the opportunity to learn and develop their skills quickly in a fast paced and exciting environment.”