Norwich North MP calls on employers to explore benefits of apprenticeships

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith meets apprentice Nathan Dickerson with ATB Laurence Scott technical dir

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith meets apprentice Nathan Dickerson with ATB Laurence Scott technical director, David Harvey. Photo: Chloe Smith office - Credit: Archant

MP Chloe Smith is calling on employers to explore how apprenticeships can benefit their business.

It comes after the Norwich North MP visited ATB Laurence Scott on Hardy Road to meet with employers about its apprenticeship programme.

The manufacturing company won City College Norwich's 'apprenticeship employer of the year award' for 2018.

Ms Smith, who is a Conservative MP, said: 'Firms like ATB Laurence Scott, who invest in their apprenticeship programme, offer great opportunities to young people who want to earn and learn at the same time.

'Apprenticeships benefit employers and young people equally, allowing employers to find talent, whilst offering young people a direct route into work.'

Since 2010, more than 10,000 young people have started an apprenticeship in Norwich. The schemes allow people to earn and learn at the same time, however pay can be low.

From April, the national minimum wage for apprentices will be £3.70 an hour anyone under 19, or over 19 an in the first year of the scheme.

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Government research into apprenticeship pay shows that in 2016, the average wage for a level 2 or 3 apprenticeship was nearly £7 an hour.

The lowest-paid apprenticeships were in hairdressing.

Ms Smith, who is the founder and chair of the Norwich For Jobs Project, has called on employers to give young people a chance to get a job.

The project supports young people to become 'job-ready' and assists employers to plug the skills gap they might face.

'I would urge employers large and small to explore apprenticeship options. It is often too easy to see statistics and forget that each of those is chance for a young person to follow their career dreams,' Ms Smith said.

'This National Apprenticeship Week I am calling on employers to look beyond the statistics and explore how taking on an apprentice can benefit their business- Norwich For Jobs stands ready to help.'

Ms Smith, who visited ATB Laurence Scott on Friday, March 9, said the apprentices at ATB Laurence Scott were 'hard-working and loyal'.

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