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Bid to get youth into 100 apprenticeships

The Examiner today launches a campaign with the ultimate aim to get 100 people into apprenticeships over the next 100 days.

The Examiner today launches a campaign with the ultimate aim to get 100 people into apprenticeships over the next 100 days. We start with an overview of what an apprenticeship should achieve.

OUR AIM is get 100 young people into apprenticeships within the next 100 days.

And we know it’s a tall order ... but it’s one that has been backed by the Government.

The Examiner recently highlighted the woeful lack of interest in a textile apprenticeship and that kick-started a renewed awareness among young people about Huddersfield’s traditional industries.

Now we are taking it a step further with The Kirklees Apprenticeship Challenge.

The challenge is to give both employers and people wanting to work a greater understanding of apprenticeships and how both can benefit.

The campaign has been backed by Skills Minister John Hayes, who said: “The Huddersfield Examiner is right to back apprenticeships and I warmly support its campaign.

“By giving youngsters the training they need to get ahead, the Government’s expanded and improved apprenticeships programme will help firms innovate and grow, creating the jobs that make communities stronger.’’

There are around 14,000 employers in Kirklees, but only around 1,100 of these were known to have apprentices in 2009-10.

This is 7.9% of employers, slightly above the regional average of 7.3%.

Kirklees has 13.1% of its 16 to 18-year-olds participating in apprenticeships.The regional average is 14.1%.

In terms of the Kirklees economy, apprenticeships are projected to generate 10,540 full-time equivalent jobs between 2010 and 2026 – which represents an expansion of 7.8%. The main job gains will be in distribution, hotel, catering, transport, communications and construction.

Calderdale and Kirklees Careers offer information advice and guidance to help young people and adults to achieve successful transitions into education and work.

The interest in apprenticeships is growing. This summer in Kirklees there are 904 school leavers expressing an interest in apprenticeships.

So far 54 of these are fixed-up with an employer, which leaves a further 850 looking for a company to take them on.

Through the challenge we want to show employers the key business benefits of apprenticeships and just how easy it is for them to get involved.

Apprenticeships can make employers more competitive, ensuring that their workforce has the skills needed to support the business’ growth.

A key milestone in the challenge is to achieve 100 pledges in 100 days from employers to recruit an apprentice – and it’s never been easier for employers to join in.

We want to promote apprenticeship as a viable option to young people to progress their career aspirations through vocational learning without being saddled with the debt they would be with some forms of higher education.

Businesses across the country are now increasingly realising the enormous benefits that apprenticeships create, not only in terms of a highly-skilled workforce, but also by boosting productivity and keeping good staff.

Research by the National Apprenticeship Service shows they are a great way to train and develop people for the future, helping businesses secure a supply of people with the skills and qualities they need and are often not available on the external job market. A poll of employers shows:

77% of employers believe apprenticeships make them more competitive;

76% say that apprenticeships provide higher overall productivity;

80% feel that apprenticeships reduce staff turnover;

83% of employers rely on their apprenticeships programme to provide the skilled workers they need for the future;

88% believe that apprenticeships lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce;

We want to promote the accessibility of Apprenticeship through Apprenticeship Vacancies www.apprenticeships.org.uk

This website gives potential apprenticeship candidates the chance to search for Apprenticeship opportunities. Employers can use it to advertise their apprenticeship vacancies for free.

APPRENTICES get a job and often qualifications too.

In terms of work they move from being a relative novice to becoming an expert in their role.

But apprenticeships are also a framework of qualifications that can be used as development for all staff or, more traditionally, as a way into the business for young people.

Nick Wilson, regional director of the National Apprenticeship Service, said: “Apprentices really can make a difference to an organisation from day one. More and more businesses and organisations are realising that apprenticeships are key to a highly-skilled and focused workforce, but we still need more.

“We urge more employers to recruit apprentices to bridge skills gaps and to give peoplea good foundation for a successful career.

“Apprentices earn while they learn and receive nationally recognised qualifications at the same time. Around this time of the year, young people are finishing their exams and thinking about their options. This makes it a good time for employers to be reviewing their recruitment needs and consider whether introducing or expanding an apprenticeship programme could benefit them.’’

A typical apprentice framework would generally consist of:

A National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) – a work-related competence-based qualification assessed in the workplace by a college or training provider.

A Technical Certificate – a knowledge-based qualification such as a BTEC or City & Guilds, relevant to the specific apprenticeship and usually taught by a college or training provider.

Key Skills – important skills that support an employee in their job such as literacy and numeracy, working in teams, problem-solving and using new technology.

Employment Rights and Responsibilities – to develop knowledge and understanding about the world of employment.

There are more than 200 frameworks, designed by employers for employers, covering a vast range of occupations including financial services, retail, construction, engineering, management, administration and hospitality.

These frameworks provide portable, economically valuable, nationally accredited qualifications supporting growth, giving people better skills and improving business performance.

The Government is striving for both learners and employers to aspire to at least Level 3 Advanced Level Apprenticeship standard, which is equivalent to 2 A-level passes.

Further progression to higher level skills – including Level 4 Higher Apprenticeships – are being broadened to widen access to apprenticeships. This key change progression into higher education through apprenticeships makes it an highly viable option to individuals.

Apprenticeship funding is available from the National Apprenticeship Service and the amount depends on the sector and the age of the candidate.

If the apprentice is aged 16 to 18, the employer will receive 100% of the cost of the training.

Those aged over 19 will receive up to 50% towards the costs of training.

The funding is paid directly to the organisation that provides and supports the apprenticeship. Graduates are not eligible to receive funding.

 

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