Monday, 5 December 2011

You’re hired – apprentice numbers in Leeds increase by almost 100%

Recent figures from the National Apprenticeship Service show that there has been an increase of nearly 100% in the take up of apprenticeships in Leeds.

There were 6,798 apprenticeship starts in Leeds from August 2010 to July 2011, which is a 98% increase on the previous year.

There is plenty going on across the city to help young people get into work – in the last two years over 800 young people in Leeds have been supported to secure employment through a national job programme –the Future Job Fund, and also the most recent programme –Youth Inspire aims to help a number more.

Leeds City Council has invested over £400,000 with matched funding from Leeds City College and the Skills Funding Agency as part of YOUth Inspire programme, managed by Learning Partnerships which will support 580 young people aged 16-24 to access the support and skills training needed to help them secure a job, apprenticeship or further work-related training.

The Future Jobs Fund programme which commenced in Leeds in December 2009, and finished earlier this year, has enabled Leeds City Council, working with 19 key partners and over 130 employers, to help a number of young people in the city get jobs. Close to half of the young people who took part in the scheme moved into permanent work following their involvement on the programme, and an additional 38 have progressed into further education or training.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for employment and skills said:

“Helping young people into work is a key priority for the city, and we are very pleased with the huge increase in take up of apprenticeships.

“There are plenty of things happening over the next few months for young people and employers across the city, including our first ever apprenticeship awards, which will showcase what is happening across the city.

“With the large amount of development in the city, now more than ever is a good opportunity for young people to take advantage of working in the city.”

Councillor Judith Blake, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for children’s services said:
As part of Leeds aspiring to be the best city in the UK, we want to be able to help and inspire the younger generations who will be key thinkers in the city in the future.

“It is so important that we do all we can to help reduce the numbers of young people classed as NEET in the city, and getting young people into apprenticeships is one way of doing this.

“I would like encourage any young person with an interest in getting an apprenticeship to visit the website apprenticeships.org.uk or get in touch with Learning Partnerships for advice.”

As part of the commitment to young people in Leeds, earlier this year The Leeds Apprenticeship Challenge took place with the first milestone being to achieve 100 employers, recruiting 100 apprenticeships in 100 days. Leeds signed up 162 employers who were willing to offer 375 apprenticeship vacancies, which smashed all targets that had been set.

Recently the ‘Build my future; Build my Leeds’ competition took place, which offered two young people the opportunity in an apprenticeship with the Leeds Arena and Leeds Trinity. The winners of which will be decided in December 2011.

As part of the ongoing work with apprentices and to celebrate the success of apprenticeships in the city, the council will be holding the first Apprenticeship Awards during national Apprenticeship Week on the 8th February. Nominations have already been submitted, and winners will be announced on the night.

All apprenticeships offered within the city are advertised at www.apprenticeships.org.uk. And for more information on the YOUth Inspire programme contact Learning Partnerships on 0113 3806839


Notes to editors:

To be part of the YOUth Inspire Programme, you must be either 16-18yrs old and not in education, employment or training OR 18-24 years old and claiming JSA. To find out more and register, please contact your Jobcentre or Connexions advisor.

The Future Jobs Fund was a government initiative launched in May 2009 as one of a number of measures that would make up a ‘guaranteed offer’ for all long term unemployed young people.

The jobs were aimed at providing training and work experience for young people aged 18-24 who had been unemployed for six months or more, with the aim to significantly improve their long term employability.
Leeds City Council working in partnership with the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) and Guiseley School held a Sixth Form Higher Apprenticeship Event on 16th September 2011, with over 200 students attending covering a range of sectors, Engineering, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), Retail, Construction/engineering, Business Administration & Law and Accountancy. Due to this success Leeds City Council will now extend this model across other school sixth forms in Leeds, events taking placing in 2012.


Ends

For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450
Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk