The value of apprentices

MORE businesses have been urged to look into apprenticeships, with up to £15,000 of funding available.

Northumberland College organised an event last week to promote schemes to engineering and manufacturing businesses and tell them more about the potential funding available when they recruit an apprentice.

The event on Wednesday was supported by the sector skill council Semta and the county’s development company Arch, which has been awarded £11.75million from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund to provide financial assistance to the engineering and manufacturing industry and encourage the creation of sustainable jobs.

Lynemouth Power Station Managing Director Bob Huntington was guest speaker, giving an employer’s perspective on apprenticeships.

Research by Semta suggests that 8,500 skilled sector workers in the region are due to retire by 2016 and to plug the gap, half of all businesses in the industry should run apprenticeships.

Northumberland College Principal Stuart Cutforth said: “It’s great that so many businesses attended the event and I encourage others to get in touch to find out more about the funding and the services the college offers.

“We offer recruitment services and a wide range of apprenticeships to hundreds of organisations and we are here to support the local business community, whether it be helping existing staff to develop higher-level skills through an apprenticeship qualification, or training new staff.”

The college works with more than 700 businesses across the region and has a dedicated employer team. For further information call 01670 841268 or email