A TRAINING centre specialising in preparing young people for careers in the manufacturing and engineering sectors has welcomed more than 100 new trainees.
South West Durham Training (SWDT) held an enrolment day for new apprentices at its CORE training facility last week.
And it says the sign-up level reflects a renewed interest among young people in the manufacturing and engineering sectors.
Figures recently released by Semta - the sector skills council for science, engineering and manufacturing - showed a 70% rise in the number of ‘new starts’ signing up to manufacturing and engineering apprenticeships in the region over the past year.
Charl Erasmus, operations manager at SWDT, said the increase shows a growing move towards skilled employment roles for young people, something he believes has been spurred on by the ‘earn-as-you-learn’ nature of apprenticeships.
He said: “Increasingly young people are looking to apprenticeships as a means of entering the jobs market, learning and earning at the same time.
“Fees to join university can be high, so finding employment and enrolling on to a paid apprenticeship course, giving the opportunity to earn money while developing the skills and experience that will lead to a highly rewarding and well paid career, is proving to be ever more attractive – and it is something that will only spur on growth in the engineering and manufacturing sector.”
Erasmus said that it remains important that the region’s big employers in the sector get behind apprenticeships to ensure that there is sufficient demand for the increased supply of young apprentices ready to enter the industry.
He said: “The number of young people we are seeing signing up for apprenticeships is really encouraging, but it really is two-way and we need to see employers coming forward and taking on apprentices to ensure that we are not left with a lost generation of young engineers.”