On the eve of the national apprenticeship week which starts on the 6th February, official figures released yesterday show that the take up of apprenticeships has surged dramatically.
Figures published by The Data Service, an independent, government funded body, show that 457,200 apprenticeship starts were delivered during 2010/11; an increase of 279,700 over 2009/10.
Skills minister John Hayes said: "This success, mirrored in every English region, is putting businesses on stronger ground to deliver a more balanced economy.
"It is equipping young people with the skills that build prosperous careers, and forging communities in which the common good is served through creative endeavour and purposeful pride."
In Brighton & Hove, the City Council together with City College is developing an Apprenticeship Training Association (ATA) with a novel approach to providing apprenticeships. This approach was specifically designed to support employers who wish to take on an apprentice but are unable to do so in the current economic climate.
Using this new model, apprentices will be employed directly by the ATA and hired out to employers on a flexible basis for a weekly amount. The ATA will take responsibility for wages, tax and National Insurance. It will also help with supervision of the apprentice during the apprenticeship period, and assist with recruitment.
They will also be linked to an approved training provider who can offer support to both the apprentice and host employer throughout.
For a young person looking for another route into an apprenticeship, this new approach includes the added experience of working with a range of employers. Being employed by the ATA rather than the employer offers added security, particularly for the continuation of the apprenticeship
For details of the national apprenticeship week and how business can get involved visit the website www.apprenticeships.org.uk
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