Employers throw support behind Apprentice Week

9th February 2011

 A NUMBER of major employers in the North West region have pledged to take on more apprentices during National Apprentice Week.

Wirral Council is the latest organisation to announce its support for the creation of apprenticeship roles by spending £1m on doubling the number of apprenticeships provided with local employers. The funding will lead to the number of apprentices working on its programme doubling to 300. The council said that the scheme was helping to tackle the unemployment rate in the area, particularly among 18-24 year olds.

Meanwhile, United Utilities has said it will enrol up to 40 new apprenticeships each year until 2015.

The Warrington-based water company said the apprentices would be offered roles working in the field as engineers, in laboratories as scientists and as process controllers at treatment works. It added that this year's recruitment window is now open and runs until February 28. 

Steve Fraser, United Utilities' managing director of operations, said: "We are taking on a new crop of talented people to help us meet the challenges of the future.
"It's an exciting prospect for jobseekers and for our whole organisation."

Jaguar Land Rover has vowed to double the number of apprenticeship places it offers during 2011 to 104. It added that all 1,500 new recruits due to join its plant at Halewood in Knowsley would be trained up to Intermediate Apprentice levels through on-the-job training.

Jaguar Land Rover's HR director, Des Thurlby, said: "We are dedicated to the training and development of our employees and our award winning Apprentice scheme has been developing a generation of engineers for many years."

Stockport Council has pledged to generate 50 apprentices through a £50,000 employment programme. The council is offering grants of £1,000 for employers that take on unemployed 16-18 year-olds from the borough - subject to the apprentice completing the programme. Its scheme is being delivered alongside local firm Damar Training.

Councillor Mark Weldon, executive member for children & young people, said: “This is a fantastic scheme which I’m sure local employers will look to embrace wholeheartedly."

Jaguar Plant


(Information from the Business Desk)