Redcar & Cleveland College has helped more than 500 people find work through apprenticeships since September 2015 – a record for a single academic year at the college.
In the last nine months, upwards of 500 students at the college have embarked on apprenticeships at companies operating in key industry sectors, including engineering, healthcare, IT, construction and management.
Among the new intake are carpentry apprentice Aaron Boyd, who plies his trade at Saltburn project management firm Huttons North East, and 30 health and social care apprentices who work at Abbey Care Village in Scorton, North Yorkshire.
Meanwhile, Matthew Raper has embarked on a one-year warehousing apprenticeship at Darlington-based car parts supplier DMFX.
Matthew, 18 from Darlington, said: “I’m really enjoying my time at the company. The apprenticeship allows me to gain a recognised qualification through Redcar & Cleveland College and valuable work experience at a forward-thinking, ambitious company in DMFX.”
DMFX owner Steve Henry said: “We’re thrilled to have Matthew on board. His enthusiasm and willingness to get stuck in sets a great example to other young people hoping to go down the apprenticeship route.”
The college milestone follows a surge in the uptake of apprenticeships, which have grown in popularity in recent years.
According to latest figures from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, there were 35,220 apprenticeship starts in the North East during the year to July 31, 2015 – an increase of 15.6% on the previous year.
Steven Winterburn, apprenticeships manager at Redcar & Cleveland College, said: “Apprenticeships are a win-win for learners and their employers. They give the learner the opportunity to gain hands-on work experience while earning a wage. Meanwhile, the employer has access to a pool of talent that can add fresh ideas and impetus to their business.
“We’re proud to have reached this apprenticeship milestone, which has created jobs for local people, reduced unemployment and plugged industry skills gaps.
“We’ll continue to work with employers to identify their training needs and address any skills shortages within their business.”
• Pictured (above): Apprentice Matthew Raper (centre) pictured with Steven Winterburn of Redcar & Cleveland College (left) and Steve Henry of DMFX (right).