Apprenticeship Hubs hit the ground running
After receiving £4.6m funding from the Government’s City Deal initiative in January 2013, the Leeds City Region Apprenticeship Programme has set up 8 local Apprenticeship Hubs and 2 Apprenticeship Training Agencies.
The programme aims to identify and offer 2,500 new apprenticeship opportunities to 16-24 year olds by autumn 2015.
The programme has been set up to engage with and provide independent, free support to SMEs across the City Region to offer apprenticeship opportunities. It is being delivered in partnership with the 8 local authorities of Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds, North Yorkshire [Harrogate, Craven & Selby], Wakefield and York.
The 8 Hubs have been developed at a local level to ensure they can deliver a service tailored to the local need. However, all of the Hubs have the common goals of encouraging more businesses to offer apprenticeships to young people and raise awareness of apprenticeships as a career option.
In addition, two Apprenticeship Training Agencies (ATAs) have been developed to support the activities of the Hubs. ATAs act as the employing organisation when an SME is able to offer work opportunities but does not have the HR facilities for employment or cannot commit to 12 months of employment required for Apprenticeships.
To highlight the work of the Apprenticeship Hubs and ATAs to date, the Leeds City Region Partnership hosted a successful event for business support organisations yesterday, 23rd October, at the Cedar Court Hotel in Wakefield. The event was an opportunity for the Hubs to network with the business community and showcase what support they can offer to businesses in the region who are interested in supporting the workforce of the future.
Phil Ball, UK Managing Director for Kodak Ltd and Chair of the Leeds City Region Apprenticeship task group said:
"We are delighted that the Apprenticeship Hubs and ATAs are now up and running and are having such a positive impact. This event was an opportunity to engage with business support organisations within the Leeds City Region so that they are aware of the support that is available for their members and associates. Research shows that apprentices are fast becoming essential to economic growth in the region and investing in skills now will not only support our young people but set a precedent for education and training in the future."
Kate Dallas- Wood, Regional Director for the North East- BPIF, who attended the event said:
"The nice thing about the Leeds City Region is it is clearly proactive in what it is trying to do by engaging with industry and businesses."
"An event like this is a chance to make key contacts and for those of us representing our members and industry, it is an opportunity to keep them up to date with news and exciting new projects around training and skills."
For more information about the Apprenticeship Hubs within the Leeds City Region, please contact LCR@leedscityregion.gov.uk