Praise for council’s apprentice scheme

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A drive to create 700 apprenticeships has earned acclaim for Derbyshire County Council at a leading national conference.

The county council is creating the placements over the next four years – 500 within the authority and 200 in private industry.

Cllr Kevin Parkinson, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, was invited to make a presentation about Derbyshire’s success during The Future of Apprenticeships conference in Westminster last week.

He said: “Our scheme, which offers small businesses financial support to take on an apprentice, has been very successful and other councils are now looking to replicate it.

“We’re committed to giving the county’s young people the best start in life and supporting businesses to grow, and our apprenticeship scheme is a prime example of that.”

The authority is supporting local businesses to take on a young person through its Apprenticeships Grant for Employers (AGE) programme. Businesses employing less than 50 people can apply for a grant of £2,500 to help take on a young person who is not in education, employment or training.

The scheme was launched in January and 137 grants have already been approved.

The conference also heard about the 500 apprenticeships which are being created within the authority. Positions in road working, business administration and customer service are currently being recruited to.

A second wave will be advertised soon to start in September.

The county council also won praise for its ‘One in a Million’ initiative, where it encourages its suppliers to create one apprenticeship position for every £1m of county council business.

For more information about Apprenticeship Grant for Employers, contact Andy Williams on 01629 538243 or email andy.williams@derbyshire.gov.uk.

For more information about county council apprenticeships currently available, contact Simon Gleadall on 01629 535850 or email simon.gleadall@learningunlimiteduk.com.