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New scheme to boost access to apprenticeships in Torbay

28th November 2018

Categories: Latest News

A new initiative to increase the number of people from disadvantaged communities taking up high-quality apprenticeships opportunities has been launched in Torbay.

Alongside three other local authorities, Portsmouth, Nottingham and South Tyneside - Torbay has been selected to take part in the new ‘Opportunities Through Apprenticeships’ pilot scheme.

Each of the four areas has pledged to work with employers, training providers and local partners to promote and encourage people to consider doing apprenticeships in key sectors such as Engineering, Manufacturing, Construction and ICT.

This will include developing an action plan to help break down barriers and support individuals to access apprenticeships in their local area, and promoting higher level apprenticeships as a great way to work with some of the UK’s key employers.

Torbay’s Elected Mayor, Gordon Oliver, said: “I am delighted to see this initiative being delivered in Torbay. We have a high number of quality engineering, manufacturing and construction companies in Torbay that offer apprenticeship opportunities. With partners, Torbay Council will connect our communities and businesses to realise the potential of apprenticeship schemes and develop skills and employablity as part of our economic strategy.”

Carl Wyard, Economy and Enterprise Manager for TDA, said: “Apprenticeships offer a great way for our business community to grow; bringing in new skills or developing existing staff skills can yield dividend to a company’s bottom line. It’s also a great way for people in or out of work to develop their skills and their career. TDA is working with local partners to offer a series of apprenticeship focussed events that will run during National Apprenticeship Week next March. Our aim is to bring communities, employers and training providers together to increase both the number and value of apprenticeships.”

The next step is to develop an action plan and Torbay is looking to National Apprenticeship Week as a Launchpad for the project. Large firms are better geared up to take on apprenticeships than small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s), however the backbone to Torbay’s economy are SME’s. This project will enable SME’s to be better informed and supported when taking on apprenticeships. Despite challenges around Brexit, Torbay companies are growing and forging ahead with their growth plans; bringing higher value apprenticeships into these businesses will help them to realise their goals and grow the economy.

Apprenticeships offer people of all ages the chance to earn while they learn, with options to train right up to degree level in a range of exciting and rewarding jobs. The Government is working with employers across the country to create more high quality apprenticeships to change the lives of apprentices and so that business have access to the higher skills they need for a rapidly changing world.

Anne Milton, Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills concluded: “We want to increase the number of people taking up apprentices from more disadvantaged areas. This exciting new project will provide people of all ages a great opportunity to do exactly that, especially in growing engineering and ICT sectors.

“An apprenticeship gives someone the chance to get new skills, get a better job and get on in a career.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing the positive impact the project has on the lives of people in Portsmouth, Nottingham, Torbay and South Tyneside!”

This work forms part of the government’s commitment to improve social mobility by creating more high quality education and training opportunities for people across the country. The project will help identify and spread ‘what works’ so that successful approaches can be adopted more widely.

The pilot projects will run until 2020. Their success will be evaluated and learnings will be shared across other local authorities in England.

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