Agency can help firms fill skills gap
A NEW agency has been launched in Cornwall aimed at making it easier for businesses to take on an apprentice.
The Cornwall Apprenticeship Agency will handle the recruitment and matching process, and brokers financial incentives and training tailored to businesses' requirements.
It can employ an apprentice on a company's behalf and handle the payroll, tax and National Insurance for employers.
Grants of up to £2,275 can be brokered per apprentice.
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The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, Fowey Harbour Commissioners, South West Lakes Trust and Seasalt are among companies already involved with the agency.
TV chef Rick Stein's Seafood Restaurant has been able to develop the customer services skills of seven of its staff at its central warehouse through a bespoke apprenticeship package.
Its HR manager Michael Rabone said: "The apprenticeship package created for us was attractive in its simplicity and efficiency. Its flexibility meant that training delivery could be fitted around the seasonal peaks and troughs of the business. The financial incentive was also appreciated."
The agency can help short-list and interview candidates and provide on-going support.
The agency's Mark Beckett said the scheme would "help businesses fill their skills gaps, motivate their workforce, harness fresh talent and reduce staff turnover".
The Cornwall Apprenticeship Agency is a subsidiary of Cornwall Marine Network (CMN), set up in 2002 when marine businesses identified a skills gap.
Like CMN, the agency is a not-for-profit organisation and its surplus is reinvested into the business.
Call the Cornwall Apprenticeship Agency on 01326 314904 or email email@example.com, or visit www.cornwallapprenticeshipagency.co.uk