From Judging Day – Ninder Johal
ONE of the best known faces in business in the West Midlands is giving his time to be a judge for the Awards.
Ninder Johal is a past President of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce and is also a Board member of the Local Enterprise Partnership.
At the LEP he is involved in the promotion of apprenticeships.
He believes that many young people from the wider community and Asian backgrounds in particular do not appreciate the value of apprentices.
“There is a huge amount of ignorance and a belief that an apprenticeship is in some way a second rate qualification,” said Ninder.
“This applies across the board but in particular with people from an Asian background.
“It means that a lot of young Asians miss out on an opportunity.”
Ninder believes that this is based on a very old fashioned perception that apprenticeships are only for traditional engineering and manufacturing.
In any event, he believes that many people do not appreciate how manufacturing and engineering has changed.
“People do not realise that factories, for the most part, are not dirty anymore but are clean places,” he said.
Ninder Johal also wants a much greater realisation that apprenticeships now apply across a broad range of sectors.
He said that there are many different routes into the professions and reminds people that the former Prime Minister John Major not only achieved the highest job in the land but also became an accountant without being a graduate.
Ninder said that as a judge he is looking for the evidence of the progress that the apprentice has made and the development of the relationship with the employer.
He is looking to recruit apprentices in his own area of business in the music and creative sectors.