Hambleton District Council has lent its support to a national campaign to celebrate the skills and talents of apprentices.
National Apprenticeship Week – held last week – is organised by the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) and sees apprentices, employers and providers come together to celebrate the value of schemes.
Hambleton’s “Changing Lives Building Business” initiative was launched last year to help not just young people into jobs, but businesses to find apprentices.
The authority joined forces with the Job Centre and National Apprentice Scheme to help get some of the district’s unemployed 16 to 24 years olds off the dole.
The scheme helps small Hambleton based businesses take on apprentices – either for the first time or as an additional post.
But the £2,000 grant must be spent on a 16 to 24 year old that lives in Hambleton. And there is a supporting grant to help pay for essential tools or training.
Deputy Council Leader Peter Wilkinson said:
“This ground breaking initiative has already helped 30 young people find work – people who were unemployed in the district.
“And it has also helped some smaller businesses employ apprentices for the first time.
“Many young people leave school and have no hope of a job – and no future to look forward to.
Through this scheme we are helping some of them into employment – reducing the unemployment levels for this age group and at the same time helping to boost the local economy.”
Northallerton Insurance Services based on Northallerton High Street are the latest local business to make the use of the grant on offer from the council and employed apprentice Eve Duxbury from Thirsk In December 2013.
Eve is studying for an NVQ in business administration and customer service and feels that there are many advantages to an apprenticeship.
“I have more independence; I am learning new skills which I have been able to practice and apply in the business and I also think that because it is a small company it helps me to have a rounder idea of how the business works.”
Northallerton Insurance Services wanted to employ an apprentice to give an opportunity to a bright, enthusiastic individual who has the potential to grow and develop within the business.
Sales director Jeremy Smith said:
“We found the application process for the grant simple, efficient, didn’t take up to much time and Hambleton District Council guided us through the process.”