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Harlow to be boosted by Essex apprenticeships scheme

Politics / Wed 21st Aug 2013 am31 08:17am

appsESSEX County Council has welcomed new government research showing businesses and young people value Apprenticeships and the positive results they deliver.

The research from BIS (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) shows that across the country, 84% of businesses and 88% of young people are satisfied with apprenticeships. The majority of businesses said Apprenticeships improved their productivity or service quality and the majority of Apprentices saw their abilities and career prospects improve through the schemes

Essex County Council’s Essex Apprenticeship scheme has supported over 2200 apprentices since it began in 2009. Statistics from the first phase of the scheme (July 2009 – March 2012) show that following a one year apprenticeship nearly 90% of the young people secured either permanent employment or went on to further education. Throughout July 2009 to March 2012, the number of young people starting an apprenticeship in Essex also rose by 82%. This is compared to a 32% increase nationally throughout the same time period.

Essex County Councillor Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member of Economic Growth and Infrastructure said, “It is great to see that apprenticeships are being recognised nationally as a fantastic opportunity for young people to start their career. An Essex Apprenticeship gives young people the chance to learn the skills required to succeed and begin on an exciting career pathway. I’m hugely proud of the programme because it is highly successful and it shows that the answers to problems like unemployment are often found locally rather than through huge national initiatives run from London.

“We must do as much as possible to support young people to give them the best chance of employment in Essex. Last month saw the launch of the Essex Employment and Skills Board, a forum for employers and skills providers to come together and begin work to align skills provision with job opportunities. The purpose of this is to increase skills and employment in the county.”

In the past year, Essex County Council has been working to raise the awareness of the apprenticeship scheme amongst young people through a road show in Essex schools. Research from these road shows found that almost half of the people that attended were now keen to find out more about becoming an apprentice. Awareness of the Essex Apprentice scheme has also risen from 37%, prior to the road show to 41%. Following the success of the first phase, the road show is being delivered to Essex schools again in September – November 2013. It will visit up to 31 schools and will also be at careers fairs in Braintree, Basildon, Colchester and Harlow.

Essex County Council currently has apprenticeship opportunities available in the Energy sector, Creative and Digital industries, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and Health and Social Care. If you are a young person interested in finding out more about becoming an apprentice, visit www.facebook.com/essexapprentice.

For businesses that are interested in recruiting an apprentice and would like to find out more about the wage subsidy offered by Essex County Council, visit www.essex.gov.uk/essexapprentice.

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