County-wide scheme maps apprenticeship career-paths
As the class of 2013's A-level students begin to review their options, a new programme has been launched with the aim of encouraging them to consider an apprenticeship as the next step and alternative to the escalating cost of a university education.
The Cornwall Apprenticeships Campaign has been established with aim of supporting local businesses to create 1,000 new work-based training schemes and pursuading students and parents of the high-value opportunities they offer.
The two-year programme has been launched with £100,000 funding support and will also provide guidance for employers in developing apprenticeship schemes that will create vital new roles within their operations.
The programme is being funded by the new Convergence-backed Skills Support for the Workforce project and from the National Apprenticeship Service.
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It includes a web-based platform that serves as a one-stop shop for employers and potential trainees.
The site, cornwallapprenticeships.com, is also an umbrella for the Cornwall Training Provider Network, a nine-strong membership of local education and training providers.
Jason Sugden has been appointed to coordinate and deliver the new campaign, which will also host live events including employer road shows, skills fairs and 'have a go' events during 2014.
He said: "There can be a stigma associated with apprenticeships, but we want people to understand the value.
"As many people are now applying for them as they are for university and statistically, those who go on to an advanced level, earn £100,000 more over their lifetime than those with a degree. And they are gaining work experience from day one."
Modern apprenticeships currently range from between one and three years in duration, with a level-four scheme the equivalent of degree level.
While employers are not obliged to take on their trainee after they have completed their apprenticeship, with the schemes tailored to suit individual business needs and aims, around 80% do so.
Students who are currently awaiting next Thursday's GCSE results are also eligible to consider apprenticeships.
An estimated 5,000 young people are currently employed in more than 80 different types of apprenticeship across Cornwall with career paths ranging from accountancy, to vehicle repair and veterinary nursing.
The best employer-based training schemes across the entire Westcountry will also be recognised at the third Western Morning News Business Awards in November. Businesses can register to nominate their own scheme at www.westernmorningnews. co.uk/businessawards