As The Journal’s year-long Proud to Back Apprenticeships campaign passes its halfway point, training providers in the region are reporting growing interest from both young people and employers keen to take on apprentices.
Intraining - part of NCG - says it has seen a 55% increase in the number of apprenticeship vacancies during the past year.
It’s regional director in the North East Lynsey Whitehead said: “It’s really heartening to see the figures increase so much and know that many more employers are recognising the benefits that an apprentice can bring to a business.
“Apprentices can plug holes in your skills gaps, help motivate your existing workforce with their eagerness to learn and can also provide a cost-effective solution to having a skilled workforce.
“Training up the future leaders of your company through apprenticeships means lower overall training and recruitment costs, which all helps in the current economic climate.”
The vacancies the Intraining team offer range from childcare opportunities to business administration apprenticeships. It has also noticed a rise in construction and engineering vacancies.
Meanwhile, a Sunderland business responsible for providing education and training programmes to the automotive sector has celebrated two key milestones - finding employment for a total of 4000 young people and supporting its 2000th apprentice.
NAC Group’s training division offers a range of programmes aimed at young people, such as the Pre-employment Programme (PEP) and Youth Evolution Scheme (YES).
The former, designed to prepare 18 to 23-year-olds for work in the automotive sector, sees trainees undertake a six week programme of learning and training activities to gain a nationally recognised qualification in the automotive manufacturing sector.
The YES Programme, meanwhile, is designed specifically for 16-18 year olds. Trainees undertake a 19 week programme which includes on-the-job training at Nissan’s Sunderland plant, and again culminates in a nationally recognised qualification.
Paul Robson, managing director of the NAC Group, said: “At a time when youth unemployment remains stubbornly high, this is some really good news.
“We have responded to the employers’ needs for work-ready, motivated new recruits.
“The automotive sector has ambitious expansion plans that provide excellent opportunities for anyone who is looking to make a good career.
“We recognise the importance of continued investment in world-class facilities and over the last five years have invested over £2m in training premises and equipment.
“Our trainees must be able to experience conditions that closely resemble those that they will encounter when they go for real work experience or into employment.”
NAC Group has also recently worked with fellow Wearside business Pulse Creative Marketing to launch a new website www.nac-group.co.uk, aimed at helping young people find out more about its training programmes.