Norfolk housing association starts apprecnticeship scheme for businesses


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A Norfolk housing association is spending £90,000 on an apprenticeship scheme which aims to help local businesses.

Saffron Housing has set up the Saffron Apprenticeship Programme to enable 20 local businesses to take on their first apprentice next year.

The trust will recruit and employ up to 20 apprentices and contract out the apprentices to local businesses, while providing full HR support and training throughout the length of the apprenticeship.

Local businesses will have an apprentice working with them four days a week with the remaining day spent off-site studying.

Saffron aims to reduce the risks for local employers by taking away the administrative burden when employing apprentices.

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The programme is a partnership between Saffron Housing Trust, Broadland Council Training Services (BCTS), Diss High School and author and social entrepreneur Robert Ashton.

Stuart Tinkler, assistant director at Saffron Housing, said: 'We employ apprentices ourselves and know how important it is to grow tomorrow's workforce, but we also know how daunting it can be for local businesses to take on their first apprentice.

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'We'll reduce the workload for local businesses by making it simple and straightforward for them to have an apprentice. The businesses will only pay for the time the apprentices are working with them.'

Mr Ashton said: 'This apprenticeship will provide a fantastic framework for a young person to learn new skills while helping to grow the business; the apprentices can give an immediate return on investment as well as literally growing their own jobs for the future.'

Saffron will be launching the new apprenticeship programme at Diss High School at the end of October to current Year 11 students with a view to them joining local businesses in the summer of 2013.

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