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Norfolk County Council’s £200,000 boost for young apprentices

PUBLISHED: 15:25 31 July 2012

Business admin apprentices sign up at Norse. From left, front, Connor Charlesworth; Stacey Mills; Dan Baron, City College business adviser; Claire Dustan; and Tom Buttery. Back, Mark Sweatman; Ruth Metcalf, commercial director; and Ian Mackie, deputy leader of the Norfolk County Council. The county council has now launched 30 apprenticeships of its own. Picture: Denise Bradley

Business admin apprentices sign up at Norse. From left, front, Connor Charlesworth; Stacey Mills; Dan Baron, City College business adviser; Claire Dustan; and Tom Buttery. Back, Mark Sweatman; Ruth Metcalf, commercial director; and Ian Mackie, deputy leader of the Norfolk County Council. The county council has now launched 30 apprenticeships of its own. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant

Thirty Norfolk youngsters are to be helped onto the employment ladder thanks to a £200,000 new apprenticeship initiative being funded by Norfolk County Council.

The youngsters – a mix of school and college leavers and unemployed young people – will be taken on by the county council during the autumn to work and receive training for 12 months in areas such as IT, business and administration and health and social care.

The extra investment is on top of the £3.5m being provided by the county council to fund 400 apprenticeships in the private sector and an investment of £891,000 for 81 apprenticeships being funded through the council-owned Norse group.

The apprentices will be paid and council bosses hope it will be particularly attractive to young people hoping to gain skills and experiences.

Ian Mackie, county council deputy leader and cabinet member for finance and performance, said: “We are already making a big investment in apprentices through Norse and the private sector, but I strongly believe that the county council has an important role to play at this time in reducing youth unemployment in our county.

“This scheme will help young people take a vital step on the career ladder and give them the chance to learn and develop lifelong skills.

“With the money we have already set aside, the county council will be funding more than 500 apprenticeship places in the coming years – and that is a significant step in the right direction in targeting youth unemployment in Norfolk.

“This additional funding has only been made possible by the careful management of our budget. I am convinced it will offer good value for money at a time when our young people need help.

“Apprenticeships are a very real career option and this initiative will help some of our young people into the working environment with a good employer which takes its responsibilities to the young person concerned very seriously.”

Details of how the scheme will operate will be made public during the autumn and the initiative comes at a time when youth unemployment nationally is at 22pc.

While there is no guarantee of a permanent job at the end of the year-long apprenticeship, the county council says those who take part will be in a strong position to either apply for permanent roles within the authority, join the temporary jobs register which the council operates or to find permanent work elsewhere.

dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

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