The recently devolved Tees Valley Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE) is proving popular and has already helped nearly 500 young people find new employment opportunities across Teesside.
Following the success of the scheme, additional funding has been secured by Tees Valley Combined Authority to create even more opportunities for young people in the area.
The Apprenticeship Grant for Employers Scheme supports small and medium sized businesses to help them employ apprentices aged 16-24 years with funding of up to £1,500 per individual.
Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, Lead Member for Education, Employment & Skills at Tees Valley Combined Authority, said: “This is a great example of what can be achieved through devolution. We previously had a national scheme led by central government that wasn’t doing enough to support local apprenticeships.
“By taking responsibility locally we have transformed the apprenticeship programme so that it meets the area’s needs. It is fantastic to see a significant number of businesses and young people benefitting from the scheme.”
One of the first to benefit from the funding was Hartlepool based Regent Travel, who appointed Jane Bannister as an Apprentice Travel Consultant.
Martyn Hall, Director of Regent Travel, said: “Jane has been a great addition to our team. She stood out from the beginning and I’m delighted to see her excelling in her new role. The scheme is a fantastic fund for Tees Valley employers, our experience has been very positive and I encourage other businesses who wish to employ an apprentice to look into the funding.”
Jane said: “After leaving school I knew I wanted an apprenticeship in the travel industry but I wasn’t sure how to find one.
“I’m really pleased to be working in an independent travel agency that offers every kind of holiday. I’m gaining lots of experience, with a company that prides itself on giving great service.”