May 23 2013 Latest news:
By shaun Lowthorpe Business editor
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Norwich-based support services firm May Gurney yesterday unveiled plans to recruit 500 apprentices by the end of the year.
The move is part of a nationwide expansion of its training programme following on from successful schems in five areas including Norfolk.
May Gurney has developed 11 apprenticeship programmes, covering areas from customer service, to highways maintenance, and driving goods vehicles.
There are currently 140 apprentiches working across the country and the expansion effectively triples the numbers by the end of 2013.
Tracey Lucas, training adviser at May Gurney, said: “We are delighted to be able to create these apprenticeships within May Gurney.
“As an accredited Investor in People, we believe training and development is essential to equip our staff to ensure they continually improve the service we offer to clients as well as building their own skills and confidence.
“Our apprenticeship schemes are aimed at all ages and abilities in our organisation and provide a structured training scheme focused on delivering business and individual needs and giving staff the opportunity to gain NVQ qualifications.”
Currently in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire there are 30 apprentices on the Norfolk strategic partnership contract, with six in the waste and recycling centres, and two in the fleet services department.
There are also plans in the pipeline for another eight apprentices and four trainees in Suffolk area over the next three years, all of which will be between the ages of 16-24.
The announcement, which comes during National Apprenticeship week, comes as a new report forecasts that the value of apprentices to the UK economy will be worth £3.4bn by 2022.
Meanwhile Barclays also unveiled free support to businesses to take on a local apprentice under a new nationwide Barclays Bridges Into Work programme that will support 10,000 young people into work.
And it will double the number of apprentices that it is recruiting into its own workforce to 2,000 specifically helping young people in long term unemployment with little or no qualifications into permanent and fully paid jobs.
The study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) said 3.8 million people are likely to complete an apprenticeship by 2022.
The average apprentice increases business productivity by £214 a week, though this varies from sector to sector with engineering and manufacturing sectors seeing the greatest gains (£414 a week).
Charles Davis, Head of Macroeconomics at Cebr, said: “The importance of apprenticeships to businesses and the wider UK recovery cannot be underestimated. Our research clearly demonstrates the significant contribution that Apprenticeships can make to economic growth. Raising the skills of the UK’s workforce translates into improved UK competitiveness in a challenging post-financial crisis environment. This is a vital part of rebalancing the UK economy and raising the chances of sustained export-led growth.”
Norfolk turkey giant Bernard Matthews is in talks to sell a stake in the business.