Member Article

Success stories show that Apprenticeships really do work

It’s a challenging time to be investing in new additions to the small business workforce when money is tight. But Apprenticeships offer the small business a great cost effective solution to extending their workforce, and starting up new Apprentices is exactly what Northumberland Adult Learning Service is encouraging local businesses to do. The Service is on a mission to increase the number of small Northumberland based companies who can take on a young person, get them into productive training and employment, and help buck the trend of increasing youth unemployment.

Northumberland Adult Learning Service, part of Northumberland County Council, currently supports more than 250 young people in Apprenticeships, hosting many of these in the Council itself.

Last week the Service celebrated its Annual Adult Learning Awards: a night of celebration of amazing people who’ve made great efforts to overcome life’s difficulties and get more out of life through learning lives. Apprentices were right at the top of the list when collecting prizes including Apprentice Ali Sajid, who won the Overall Outstanding Learner of the Year for 2011.

Local employers nominated their Apprentices for “becoming a valuable asset to the team”, for “brilliant performance”, for their “hard work making a huge difference in the company” and for “being highly respected for their skills and improving at a fantastic rate”. One successful winner, 20 year old Thomas More, received huge praise from his Line Manager who holds him up as an example to other employed colleagues in his department while he is only on an apprenticeship wage, “your professionalism is excellent and others in here should look to you as an example. You should be extremely proud of your high standards and it’s certainly what I want from all my staff.”

But there are other great Apprenticeship success stories, including a collaboration between the Adult Learning Service, Network North and BACK Consulting, when they were in need of help for the NorthEastExpo this November. Construction Apprentices stepped up to build the main stage for the North East Expo as part of their work related projects. The youngsters constructed a new modular stage which was used during Dragon’s Den interview with Rachel Elnaugh. Expo co-organiser Andrew Charlton commented “it’s great to see youth and enterprise coming together and showing just how skilled and talented the young people of Northumberland are. We’re delighted to shout about the benefits of having an apprentice on board for your business and in our case a whole team of them!”

All these success stories show that for business Apprenticeships really do work.

If you are a small business and could really do with that extra pair of hands, a bright young thing putting fresh energy into your business, and someone you can mould into your perfect employee then for just £96.20 per week you could be hiring your first Apprentice. For a free advice session on recruitment and what’s involved call Karen or Jane on 01670 533646.

More information on Apprenticeships is available at www.northumberland.gov.uk/adultlearning.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Jane Cooper .

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