More than 70 local employers attended a breakfast meeting at the Hereford Racecourse last week (2 May 2012) to learn more about employing apprentices and offering young people the chance to develop employment skills and gain a qualification.
Herefordshire Council in partnership with the National Apprenticeship Service, Herefordshire Training Providers Association and the Chamber of Commerce organised a special breakfast conference where they launched a challenge to local businesses: to create 100 new apprenticeships in 100 days.
The conference included presentations from local businesses who currently employ apprentices, and a number of young people who are currently employed as apprentices. As well as learning about the business benefits, delegates received information on available training support, financial assistance and how to start the recruitment process.
Councillor Roger Phillips, cabinet member for enterprise and culture, said: “There are over 1000 young people in Herefordshire aged 16-24 who are known to be unemployed, and many more underemployed. The recession is making it increasingly difficult for young people to find work. University is no longer an option for many and the current demand for apprenticeships is growing.
“I was delighted to see such a good turnout for this very important breakfast meeting. Last year 86 apprenticeship opportunities were created across the county through the 100 in 100 campaign, but this year we want to smash through the 100 target and get more people into apprenticeships. The council is backing this campaign and is reviewing its own apprenticeship programme.
Julia Bakewell from the National Apprenticeship Service, said, ‘It was great to see so many new businesses from across Herefordshire who are seriously considering employing apprentices, who haven’t previously been involved.
“We are supporting the Herefordshire Training Providers Association who are raising awareness of apprenticeships through a schools programme, but we need to generate more apprenticeship opportunities across Herefordshire and would like employers to support us on this campaign.”
For more information contact Julia Bakewell, National Apprenticeship Service (07917) 613389.