You’re hired! Drive to create 100 new apprenticeships

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A NEW initiative aimed at encouraging employers to create jobs for apprentices in work places across Mansfield and Ashfield has been launched this week.

The Chad has teamed up with Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce (DNCC) and the National Apprentice Service (NAS) in the East Midlands to help create 100 new job roles which could change the lives and shape the futures for hundreds of young people in our area.

The scheme is aimed at bringing employers and training providers together to drive up the number of apprenticeships in our area and now is the chance for local employers to step forward and add their name to the list in the coming weeks.

The Government underlined its commitment to get young people into work by announcing a further £250m for its apprenticeships programme with the aim of delivering an extra 75,000 apprenticeships across the UK.

Now the Chad is challenging local businesses to match that pledge and help create 100 new apprentice roles in our area.

Apprenticeships give companies the chance to invest in their own futures, as well as those of their young employees, and are a vital catalyst in the move towards economic recovery.

George Cowcher, chief executive of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, said it is very important for employers to give opportunities to youngsters and has urged local firms to get involved.

“Building a highly-skilled workforce here in Mansfield and north Nottinghamshire is absolutely crucial to the future success and prosperity of the area and this campaign will help to address this priority,” he said.

“Employers are always looking for skilled people and taking on an apprentice is just one way to solve their recruitment needs.

“But the key challenge continues to be getting employers on board to offer apprenticeships, which is why this campaign is so important and we would urge as many local firms as possible to get on board by making a firm commitment to take on an apprentice in the months ahead.

“The Chamber is delighted to be working with the Chad newspaper and the National Apprenticeship Service on the new and exciting initiative to encourage local firms to create at least 100 new apprenticeships.”

The initiative has already proved a success in Nottingham and Chesterfield and it is hoped the scheme will raise awareness of the breadth of apprenticeships offered by training providers.

“We are now in phase three of the campaign and the benchmark has already been set,” added George.

Vision Apprentices - a subsidiary of West Notts College and Edwinstowe-based NE group are also taking part in the scheme.

Malcolm Hall, managing director, of Hall Fast Industrial Supplies in Boughton, is backing the initiative after recently taking on a new apprentice last month.

Speaking at yesterday’s launch event, Malcolm said that employing young apprentices helps small businesses grow in the long term.

“It really benefits a business to have fresh blood coming through especially when they have the desire to learn and work in different areas of the work place,” he said.

“Going to university is not going to be an option for a lot of young people because of the rising costs so apprenticeship schemes become even more important these days.

“We’re also trying to recruit locally which is good for the economy in the area.

“We can mould young people when they come here and they are able to learn about different aspects of the business.”

Nick Beveridge (18) was a West Notts College student before being taken on by Hall Fast Industrial Supplies where he will work over the next year.

“It has been a big challenge working here but there is lots of variety and I have been given lots of guidance,” said Nick.

“My work colleagues have been really good as well and I’ve gained more confidence since I started.

“I do something different every day I’m here and I’m getting experience on the business side and experience in the work place.”

Six weeks into his apprenticeship, Nick says he is pleased with his progress so far and would recommend the scheme to other anyone wanting to get ahead in life.

“I’m enjoying my job and am gaining people skills all the time, I think these days it is just as important to have experience as well as qualifications,” he added.

Karen Woodward, divisional apprenticeship director for NAS, said the scheme is mutually beneficial for employers and future apprentices.

“The idea is simple – we need more employers to come forward prepared to employ an apprentice, so that we could open the door for North Nottinghamshire people into the world of work, through an apprenticeship.

“This would allow them to earn whilst they learn, and to give them the qualifications and foundations for a bright career.”

“With our partners, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce we challenge employers across the area to employ an apprentice and to sign-up to the campaign.

“We will work with the employer to help them identify a suitable, quality provider and then support their recruitment through our free apprenticeship vacancies matching service.

“For young people in the area it is vital that they understand what an apprenticeship can offer them and we have an excellent website that can support them to take the first step on the apprenticeship ladder and a sound career.”

Chad editor Tracy Powell added: “I’m delighted to be launching this new Chad campaign to support the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber’s efforts to increase the number of apprenticeships on offer to our young people.”

“We aim to achieve 100 apprenticeships in 100 days working in partnership with the Chamber, Vision Apprentices and the NE Group in Edwinstowe, and we hope local businesses can see the benefits of offering young people the chance of work as part of a structured development programme.”

l If you are an employer and want to make your pledge to our 100 Apprenticeships Campaign contact Tony Jones at National Apprenticeship Service on 01332 868346.