BUSINESS leaders and government have joined forces in a drive to urge employers to take on apprentices.
Business organisations such as the Federation of Small Business, British Chambers of Commerce and other regionally-based companies are supporting the drive by highlighting the business benefits of apprenticeships and how they can supply the skilled, talented workforce needed for the future.
The Government’s commitment has been strongly stated with the recent announcement of funding for an extra 75,000 apprenticeship places over the next four years.
The commitment has also come from businesses themselves with 85,000 already agreeing to employ apprentices in their own companies.
Entrepreneur and Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones said: “My experience in business has highlighted how new talent can really invigorate a company. Apprentices can work in a huge range of roles in a business and the businesses benefit just as much as the apprentices themselves. This is why I am working with the National Apprenticeship Service to develop an apprenticeship in enterprise.”
George Ritchie, senior vice-president of industrial utilities and services company Sembcorp Utilities UK, based at the Wilton International site near Middlesbrough, and a North East apprenticeship ambassador, said: “These are challenging times for businesses of all sizes and sectors in the North East. We employ apprentices because they provide us with loyal, motivated and enthusiastic employees who return our investment by providing key benefits. Looking at the survey results, many other employers agree with us.”
:: To find out more about employing apprentices, please contact the National Apprenticeship Service on 08000 150 600 or visit the website www.apprenticeships.org.uk