THE North East Apprenticeship Company (NEAC), tasked with increasing the uptake of apprenticeships across the North East, is flying high after the number of apprentices it has placed soared.
Managing director Paul Champion says there has been a fantastic response to NEAC’s apprenticeship offer, with young people placed in management, hairdressing, retail, catering, logistics, construction, creative and digital, IT, engineering, business administration, automotive and customer service roles from Berwick to Stockton and all places in between.
Dozens of companies have already signed up with the company since it was launched and 450 potential apprentices have also registered for placements.
“We are working to remove the barriers that have discouraged employers from hiring in the past, making it easier and more cost-effective for them to tap into a new resource of talented, enthusiastic and willing-to-learn young people,” he said.
“Meanwhile, our apprentices benefit from organised training programmes while gaining skills which are relevant and valuable to employers, who require well-trained workforces to enable them to take advantage of the economic upturn.”
One of the most interesting recent appointments has been Danny Cox, 17, at the Barn at Beal, a rural enterprise and conference centre near Holy Island in north Northumberland.
General manager Jim Loughran had been looking for someone to work with his head falconer to undertake an apprenticeship in animal care. He said: “We were really impressed with the calibre of candidates and the service provided by NEAC and chose Danny, who showed all the qualities necessary for this fascinating and certainly very different apprenticeship.”
Another company to benefit from the NEAC is Stockton-based Rock ’n’ Rose, the online jewellery company famous for supplying the likes of pop singer Pixie Lott with jewellery and is often featured in fashion magazines.
Jess Lathan, who started the firm with her sister Emily in 2007, has taken on 16-year-old apprentice Megan Deer to learn a trade while helping with customer demand.
“We approached the North East Apprenticeship Company via Business Link to find someone who we could bring on board to learn a trade while helping us with customer demand,” said Jess. “We found the process really good. They sifted through dozens of applications before sending us a shortlist from which we interviewed two before appointing Megan.”
Mr Champion said there had been a lot of interest from employers who want to invest in young people to pass on specialist training and knowledge to keep skills alive for future generations.
“We can not only recruit young people for exciting opportunities like this but support companies across a range of sectors with advice and administrative services which make it quick and easy to employ apprentices,” he said.
:: To find out more, whether you are a young person looking for an apprenticeship or an employer, go to the NEAC website at www.neapprenticeship.co.uk