Norfolk firms take on 34 new apprentices

Businesses in Norfolk are being urged to take advantage of an major recruitment campaign in the county.

The Challenge Norfolk 100 in 100 campaign, which was launched in February during National Apprenticeship Week, aims to get businesses to recruit 100 apprentices in 100 days.

The campaign was launched by the National Apprenticeship Service in Norwich and organisers are deter-mined to increase the number of opportunities on offer in Norfolk by making businesses aware of the benefits of taking on apprentices.

The initiative reached its halfway point last week and has already seen 20 businesses sign up 34 apprentices, but with only just over 40 days left, organisers from NAS are calling for firms to take advantage of the opportunity.

Teresa Logan, employer services director for the NAS, said: 'There has never been a more crucial time for employers in Norfolk to engage with apprenticeships.

'In an increasingly competitive world, no business can afford not to invest in skills training and apprenticeships are one of the very best and most cost-effective ways for employers to grow their own talent.'

The government also announced in last month's budget that an estimated 7,100 young people in the east of England could be benefiting from 180m pounds of funding.

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Chancellor George Osborne said the government will now be delivering 250,000 more apprenticeships over the next four years and wanted to support more places as part of its 'strong commitment' to improve the skills of workers.

Neil Bowman, customer services manager at Archant Norfolk, which publishes the EDP, has hired an apprentice as part of the 100 in 100 campaign and said: '[Getting involved] was very easy. All we had to do was the interview. We have been really happy with the process.'

Production Bureau, specialists in live communications, based in Swardeston, have also taken advantage of the campaign.

Staff welfare officer Jo Hayhurst, said: 'Our ethos is to nurture talent. We've found apprentices to be very eager to listen, learn and adapt.'

For more information visit www.apprenticeships.org.uk or call 08000 150 600.

donna-louise.bishop@archant.co.uk

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