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Thursday, May 23, 2024

As part of National Apprenticeship Week, Lancashire’s innovative apprenticeships praised

The spotlight focuses on Lancashire’s talented apprentices and companies during National Apprenticeship Week, taking place from Monday 6th February to Sunday 12th February, with a particular focus on Skills for Life.
Among our region’s success stories is the Lancashire Young Apprenticeship Grant, a financial incentive that gives small or medium sized businesses support and funding to help with apprenticeships. 

The generous grant constitutes £3,000 for eligible businesses which goes straight to the employers, helping them to nurture existing and new talent and allowing them to hire apprentices at any level, including degree or beyond. 

Thanks to the grant, apprentices are able to learn over a one to four-year period (dependent upon level), while companies nurture and benefit from them. 

With 100 grants available through the scheme, funded by Lancashire County Council via the Lancashire Economic Growth Recovery Fund, no less than 23 grants have already been awarded since its launch last July. 

This means apprentices get hands-on, real-life experience, learning on the job while securing an affordable and effective route into careers like engineering and manufacturing.

One Fylde-based employer, Airframe Designs, said: “Apprenticeships are a fantastic route into engineering at Airframe Designs, with apprentices who all started their careers via craft level apprenticeships.

“Employing apprentices is a more affordable and effective route to training and developing engineers, aligning with our core value to transform graduates into assets, except that we start this journey before they graduate.

“Degree apprentices tend to be more practical and pragmatic, having a greater appreciation of potential manufacturing issues owing to their exposure and experience to real-world engineering and manufacturing before they graduate.

“By investing in apprentices, AFD expects to see a return on the investment by having a greater influence on the finished article – that being an engineering graduate suited to the way we operate with a deeper commitment to the business.

“Linking with the Blackpool and Fylde College as the provider of the five year Manufacturing Degree Apprenticeship provides an ideal partner as they already provide an established programme for BAE Systems, a customer of Airframe Designs.”

Paul Hannant, project co-ordinator for the Young Apprenticeship Grant, said: “The benefits of hiring an apprentice are unmeasurable. Apprenticeships are a great alternative route into a career compared to going down the University or Skills Bootcamp path.

“Apprenticeships aren’t just about hiring school or college-leavers. This programme is open to anyone up to the age of 25 years old so they can scale their skills and bring innovative ideas and a curious, dedicated mindset to local businesses.”

County Councillor Jayne Rear, cabinet member for education and skills, said: “It is with great pleasure that I’m able to take part in National Apprenticeship Week to launch the fantastic opportunity to showcase the council’s apprentice activity and celebrate the fantastic achievements of our apprentices and encourage through the Young Apprenticeship Grants businesses across Lancashire to also benefit.

“Apprenticeship training contributes to the vision of the council’s corporate priorities and has addressed the workforce needs in many of our staff teams. Staff can develop their skills through apprenticeship schemes that improve our service to Lancashire citizens, invest in the potential of our work force and respond to the training needs within our schools and our communities.

“One of our key priorities for Lancashire is to make it the best place to live, work and prosper, and I have seen myself just how valuable these schemes are for our apprentices to develop skills and indeed upskill throughout their lives to future proof our workforce.

“We are keen to advocate apprenticeships to businesses across Lancashire as a fantastic opportunity to grow your talent.”

– The Lancashire Apprenticeship Grant offers grants for up to three apprenticeship starts within a three-month window, a £3,000 grant per apprentice and free business support as well as recruitment and additional support.

– To qualify, businesses should be at least partially based in Lancashire (not Blackpool or Blackburn with Darwen), have less than 250 employees and have a revenue of less than £50 million, while eligible apprentices must be under 25 years old, not have started an apprenticeship in the previous two years and begin before August 31, 2023.

– If you feel inspired why not contact the team by emailing [email protected].  You can also get in touch by emailing  [email protected].


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