Campaign launched to show off some great opportunities
THE sixth annual National Apprenticeship Week takes place from March 11-15 and will be celebrating apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the economy.
Activities taking place in Devon include a bus tour encouraging businesses to get on board with apprenticeships.
This week the Express & Echo is launching a month-long campaign to showcase the thousands of opportunities available to young people and employers in Exeter and the Heart of Devon.
In partnership with Devon County Council and the National Apprenticeship Service, we'll be turning the spotlight on the advantages apprenticeships can bring to businesses with ambitions to grow.
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Each week, in print and on the apprenticeships website, we will focus on the quality, growth, pride and value apprentices can bring to businesses large and small.
And we will highlight local success stories showing how apprentices are realising their potential by developing new skills and making a real difference to their employer.
An apprenticeship is a real job with training which provides the opportunity for people to earn while they learn and gain nationally recognised qualifications. Anyone over the age of 16 can apply.
For employers, apprenticeships enable them to nurture and grow their own talent and make their business fit for the future.
Hundreds of events and activities are taking place across England during National Apprenticeship Week.
In Exeter, one of the highest profile events of the week takes place at Sandy Park on Tuesday, March 12, where young people, their parents and local employers will be able to find out more by meeting training providers and businesses already enjoying success with apprentices.
Devon County Council is hosting the day, which starts with a business breakfast between 8am and 9am for those considering taking on apprentices to find out more information.
In addition, grants of £2,000 are on offer to businesses which register for the day. The National Apprenticeship Service has a grant scheme offering £1,500 to businesses, with an additional £500 from Devon County Council for those attending the event.
Pupils in Years 10, 11, 12 and 13 from all of Devon's schools have been invited to the day and many will be coming along with their teachers or parents to find out more about apprenticeships, skills and employment.
All the Devon colleges will be on hand to answer questions plus a range of training providers and employers providing interactive demos and talks throughout the day.
Devon County Council leader John Hart said: "For many young people, apprenticeships can be their first step into employment and it's important we support and help them in this process.
"By providing apprenticeships, businesses are making a valuable contribution to Devon's future workforce and subsequently helping to raise skills in the county.
"This is something we are very much behind at Devon County Council so I am very pleased to be supporting this initiative and I would encourage organisations and young people to come along and find out more."
Express & Echo acting editor Paul Burton said: "There are some great apprentice opportunities across Exeter and the surrounding area, and we're keen for as many people as possible to know about them.
"We also want parents and young people to know how much apprenticeships offer as the first step in a successful career, and for employers who might never have considered taking one on to realise how beneficial apprentices can be."
Changes in the law mean that this year, children in England will be required to stay in education or training until they are 17. This is an interim step in government policy towards having pupils continue in some form of education or training to the age of 18, which will take effect for school leavers from 2015.
The change will not mean that pupils will have to stay in the classroom but they will have to continue to receive training.
The changes have been introduced because the Government estimates that currently there are some 189,500 young people aged between 16 and 18 who are not in education, employment or training.
There are many other events taking place in the Exeter area during National Apprenticeship Week, from business breakfasts to career open days. More information can be found on the Apprenticeships website here