Local business leaders urged to access funding and support to employ apprentices

Sign Art apprentice 19-year-old Catherine Platts with owner Harry Guy. Photograph: Stuart Boulton
Tees Business Digital Media Pack

Business leaders from across Redcar and Cleveland are being urged to not miss out on a dedicated pot of funding and support which could help grow their business.

Apprenticeships provide businesses with a range of benefits, including a more diverse workforce, and the ability to bring a range of unique talents with an understanding of the modern customer market.

Local businesses looking to employ an apprentice can potentially access a range of support, including:

• A one-off payment of £500;
• Grants through the Tees Valley Combined Authority (dependent on the size of the employer, and the sector they operate within);
• Additional payments for young apprentices and those requiring more support.

Businesses looking to take on an apprentice can also receive extensive support from the council and its partners in other ways, including a training needs assessment, help in preparing the job description, advertising the vacancy and delivering training in response to the needs of the business.

Harry Guy, director of Sign Art Studios, benefitted from employing an apprentice.

Harry said: “I took advantage of the help available from Redcar and Cleveland Council when I employed an apprentice. She’s been an absolute asset to our business and she’s done so well that I’ve now been able to take her on full time.

“I would definitely recommend taking on an apprentice, there’s virtually no downside!”

A report to cabinet week explained that, although the area has historically had a strong apprenticeship take-up, in recent times there has been a decrease in the number of apprenticeships being created. In 2017/18 the Tees Valley saw a fall of 34%, compared to a national figure of 24%.

Councillor Alison Barnes, cabinet member for children, said: “Recruiting an apprentice brings many benefits to both the employer and the apprentice.

“Apprentices help to grow local businesses and in turn these businesses help to train local people, providing communities throughout Redcar and Cleveland with energetic young people with the skills and economic means to give our borough the dynamic and innovative future we need going forward.”

Last year the council’s Apprenticeship team won the prestigious Princess Royal Training Awards Standard, making Redcar and Cleveland Council the only local authority in the country to achieve the award that year.

The team also won the coveted MJ award for transforming people’s lives, with the judges noting that the team doubled the number of apprentices within 12 months.

 

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