County Durham landlord Derwentside Homes has teamed up with New College Durham and East Durham Partnership to set up the Northern Apprenticeship Training Academy, an organisation which will match local apprentices with employers and vice versa.
The aim is to give companies that may not have the resources to organise training programmes themselves, or who may have concerns over employing apprentices, the support and guidance they need to take trainees on.
Unlike with most apprenticeships, the academy will act as the apprentice’s employer and, should the host company be unable to keep the apprentice on, will find him or her an alternative placement.
The scheme, which will be mainly aimed at young people not in employment, education or training, means businesses are able to find apprentices quickly to train in an area of their choice, while apprentices get opportunities to gain qualifications and hands-on experience.
Principal and chief executive of New College Durham, John Widdowson, said: “We are delighted to be entering into this new partnership, using the Apprenticeship Training Agency model.
“Apprentices are vital to the growth and success of local industry and the wider economy, and as a college we are committed to supporting young people, particularly those in the NEET sector, to reach their full potential and to offer greater access to job opportunities.”