Mid Yorkshire Chamber launches apprenticeship support programme for local business

Martin Hathaway,

Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce has launched a new ‘flexi-job’ service, helping employers across Yorkshire access apprenticeship funding to help train tomorrow’s talent.

The Chamber Talent service has been set up to provide individual businesses with an alternative approach to workforce development, designed to increase the talent pool for the whole industry in which they operate.

Martin Hathaway, managing director of the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Whilst apprenticeships have proved to be an excellent option for training staff over several decades, some employers find that the current apprenticeship model isn’t flexible enough for today’s working practices, and that skills gaps persist across their industry.

“Many businesses feel unable to offer year-long apprenticeships, often because their work is seasonal or project-based, while others feel they don’t have adequate support, time or cashflow in place to help train apprentices.

“There may also be instances where staff need to have gained prior accreditation from a previous employer before working in their specific environment.”

The Chamber is one of 15 organisations selected by Government to set up a Flexi-Job Apprenticeship Agency. Other organisations engaged in the initiative include the BBC, NHS and McGinley Ltd.

Martin added: “Without a flexible approach to apprenticeships, some industries, especially those with a high volume of small businesses or freelancers, are suffering acute skills gaps and need a solution to collaboratively increase the talent pool.

“From assessing the data produced by our latest Quarterly Economic Survey, and reflecting on conversations with our members, we know that the appetite for skills is there.

“Companies are keen to usher in a new cohort of skilled recruits, but that initial training and development is lacking here in Yorkshire.

“This is why we have set up Chamber Talent. We are building on the work delivered in 2021 as a Kickstart Gateway, providing the link between employers and Government programmes.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for all types of companies in our region to get involved in training tomorrow’s talent.”

The Chamber, working with its employability partner, Supplytrain CIC, will manage Government paperwork, source candidates, identify suitable training and accreditation, and provide mentoring support to each apprentice.

The service is open to businesses across England and is designed to be as cost-effective as possible for users.

In return, employers must recognise the need to increase the talent pool in their industry, and be willing and able to provide real work and support to someone at the beginning of their career.

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