Norfolk colleges to lead the way on county council’s apprenticeship training
16:30 24 July 2012
Three Norfolk organisations have been awarded a share of £3.5m to help lead Norfolk County Council’s new apprenticeships project.
The College of West Anglia was yesterday announced as the main training provider for the Apprenticeships Norfolk scheme and will be supported by City College Norwich and Broadland Council Training Services.
The initiative aims to arm the county’s young people with the skills they need to find jobs and reduce the number deemed Neet – not in education, employment or training.
It will see up to 400 apprenticeship jobs create for 16 to 24-year-olds over the next two years.
David Pomfret, principle at the College of West Anglia, said Apprenticeships Norfolk had “huge potential to help both businesses and young people in the county”. He added: “As a college, with over 1000 current apprentices, we are fully committed to meeting the needs of employers and generating employment and training opportunities for young people through apprenticeships and this offers fantastic potential for further development.”
The county council is now calling on small and medium-sized businesses – those with less than 250 employees – who have not had an apprentice in the last three years, to sign up to the scheme.
The apprenticeships will be created in business sectors which have the potential for growth including engineering, energy, advanced manufacturing, and health and social care.
The council also wants micro businesses – those with less than 10 employees – from all sectors to get involved.
Wage subsidies will be provided by Norfolk County Council to help businesses that sign up to the scheme.
Ann Steward, the authority’s cabinet member for economic development, said: “Apprenticeships Norfolk is a fantastic opportunity for companies to get involved in this exciting project. The aim is to promote the benefits of apprenticeships to employers so they are aware of, and understand, the opportunities they can offer. We also want to generate greater awareness in schools and colleges to young people, parents and teachers.
“Apprenticeships mean young people can earn while they learn and also provide a great route into work. Additionally, from a business perspective, they add value and are an excellent way for a company to develop their workforce.”
Alison Thomas, cabinet member for children’s services, added: “We really want to raise the aspirations of young people in Norfolk and highlight that there are a range of routes into employment and they need to follow the path that suits them. We particularly hope to help vulnerable young people including those leaving care.
“We are calling on businesses from a number of sectors in the hope we can cater for young people with wide ranging interests. By introducing these newly created apprenticeships for 16 to 24-year-olds we hope to reduce the number of Norfolk’s young people not in education, employment or training (NEET).”