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Apprenticeships

2016 in 2016: APPRENTICESHIP CHALLENGE IS SET

 

A major summit of Local leaders in Apprenticeships convened by Mayor Dave Hodgson has concluded with key partners in education, training and commerce  challenging themselves and each other to deliver a further dramatic rise in annual apprenticeships in Bedford Borough, or ‘2016 in 2016’. With dramatic growth in apprentice numbers already having been achieved in recent years, the summit has set a target of 2016 new Apprenticeships provided annually by 2016, which would represent an increase of 50% against current figures.

 

Facilitated by the Local Government Association, the Mayor brought a key group of local apprenticeship partners together, inviting them to commit to a new strategic group challenge to reach the ambitious target. Partners included Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Small Business, Apprenticeship Ambassadors, Bedford College, South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership, Jobcentre Plus, the National Apprenticeship Service, schools and Bedford Borough Council.

 

The latest performance data* reveals significant growth already in Apprenticeships locally. During 2012/13, Bedford Borough had 1,310 all-age apprenticeship starts, which is a 38% increase on the previous year and builds further on significant growth over recent years. Growth has particularly come from within the 19-24 year old age group and in ‘Advanced Level’ Apprenticeships. With significant local support and increasing interest from young people, there is considered to be great potential yet for further growth.

 

Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “The Apprenticeship Challenge represents an ambitious task, but we are ambitious about what we can achieve. The challenge is all about boosting apprenticeship opportunities locally, providing high quality career opportunities for our young people and adults, whilst supporting local business growth. We are embarking on a fast-track programme which is dependent on senior level commitment from all partners, and I was delighted that the shared passion and drive we will need was evident in the room at the Apprenticeships Summit. With significant growth already achieved in recent years, the challenge is now set and we have a great opportunity to achieve even greater success in Apprenticeships within the Borough by 2016.”

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