Apprentice scheme is Real deal

A NEW training company has been launched to create jobs for young people and help companies take on apprentices.

Stoke-on-Trent College has set up Real Apprenticeships Ltd, which aims to make it easier for firms across North Staffordshire to recruit apprentices, with an initial focus on the construction industry.

The company is working with the contractors leading Stoke-on-Trent’s ¬£250 million Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, which will result in 18 schools revamped and rebuilt by 2013.

Wates and Thomas Vale are looking for up to 14 local apprentices to support work on BSF contracts in the Potteries, which will give youngsters the chance to learn a trade in areas such as bricklaying, carpentry and plumbing.

The two companies are working together as a consortium to part-deliver the BSF programme.

Together, they will build or refurbish nine of the city’s 18 schools, including St Thomas More Catholic College; Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy; Trentham High School; the Discovery Academy and Birches Head High School.

Real Apprenticeships Ltd has been set up as part of the Government-backed Apprenticeship Training Agency (ATA) programme.

It will find the apprentices, match them with employers, and provide pre-apprenticeship training and interviews.

It will also be the employer, with companies paying wages for their recruits back to the college.

Andy Greenhough, director of employer engagement at the college, said: “Working this way we can take away the burden in areas such as HR, health and safety and selection of potential apprentices.

“We are working with the construction sector in the first instance, and in particular with the Building Schools for the Future partners in the city.”

Mr Greenhough, pictured below, said he believed the new company can play its part in furthering regeneration in Stoke-on-Trent.

The college has already run a pilot ATA scheme with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, which is providing entry level employment opportunities for fire-fighters and support staff.

The service’s training manager, Tim Wareham said: “One of our apprentices said he felt like he had won a golden ticket to a long-term career, and the enthusiasm generated by the apprenticeship programme is raising morale across the service.”

Is your firm recruiting apprentices? Email us at businessdesk

Paul Champion
Strategic Project Manager

Mobile: 07540 704920

Leave a Reply