Somerset Apprenticeship Campaign launched

A campaign to create 100 apprenticeships in Somerset within 100 days, has been launched to businesses as part of £250 million government funding to boost apprenticeships around the country.

The 100 in 100 Apprenticeship Campaign in Somerset aims to help businesses and create a skilled workforce in the region. It was launched recently at the Holiday Inn, Taunton, with employers invited from across the county.

Now Somerset College in Taunton along with four other colleges plus independent training providers, is working with the National Apprenticeship Scheme and Somerset Employment & Skills Board to create more apprenticeships.

The National Apprenticeship Service will meet with interested businesses to discuss their training requirements and advise on the Apprenticeship programme. They will then refer that business to a relevant training provider.

Somerset College works with over 100 employers around the South West and provides a wide range of apprenticeships from IT and Railway Engineering to Hairdressing and Electrical Installation.

Jack Fleming, Employer Services Manager of National Apprenticeship Service said: “Apprenticeships are now increasingly recognised as one of the best ways of plugging skills gaps, encouraging staff retention and achieving commercial competitiveness.

“An Apprenticeship is not just a cost-effective way of recruiting people, it is a tried and tested means of developing the skills employers need. It also helps them keep up with new techniques, legislation and knowledge and, most important of all, enhances business performance.”
Apprenticeships are on-the-job programmes designed by industry, to give people over 16 training that will benefit both their careers and their employers.
Apprentices earn while they learn, spending one day a week at College to gain technical information and skills. The Government fully funds 16 – 18 year olds, and shares the cost of older apprentices with the employer. 

Caption: At the launch - members of Somerset College’s Business Centre Julie Yates, back left, with Sharon Warren and front right Rachel King; together with Margaret Coffey, Holiday Inn General Manager and a former Somerset College Business Management student.

Facts and figures:
• In 2009/10, there were over 1,350 employers of apprentices in Somerset and the benefits to employers are immense.
• Apprenticeships can take between one and four years to complete depending on the level, the apprentices’ ability and the industry sector