Apprenticeships given £50k boost

A HELPING hand will be given to apprentices across Kent as a legacy to respected councillor Kevin Lynes, who died in March.

Up to £50,000 is likely to be used to pay for the travel and training costs for people on apprenticeship schemes.

  1. good work: Kevin Lynes
    good work: Kevin Lynes

They will be able to apply for bursaries in amounts ranging from a hundred to “a few thousand pounds”, said the man who took over from Mr Lynes as Kent County Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, Mark Dance.

It is hoped the assistance for training and retraining people of all ages, in rural and urban areas, will benefit Kent residents and businesses.

Mr Lynes’s family told the Courier this week he would have “really, really loved” the apprenticeship scheme and his two children were “very proud”.

Mr Dance said: “It is unfortunate many individuals continue to struggle to secure and retain meaningful work positions. There has always been a concern that talented individuals and their families leave Kent to secure work elsewhere. It is hoped this bursary will go some way towards halting that exodus and assist in training and retraining individuals for the benefit of both Kent residents and businesses.”

Mr Dance said his predecessor was “especially passionate” about encouraging young and old to achieve “all they could in life”.

He said: “In this respect, Kevin was a great supporter of apprenticeship schemes and believed they should continue to flourish. He is a tough act to follow and I will give my all to continue his good work.”

Exactly how the bursary will be run is yet to be finalised but Mr Sands said it would include all work sectors and all ages across Kent’s urban and rural businesses.

It is likely sponsorship will be sought for the Kevin Lynes Apprenticeship Scheme, including donations from individuals, businesses and organisations.

Louise Lynes, who was separated from her husband, told the Courier: “From mine and the girls’ point of view, it is exactly what Kevin would have wanted. He would have been really, really delighted. I think the thrust of this will be for the younger community and I think he would have been very keen on that.”

Asked why helping young people was so important to him, she said: “He was a dad. It doesn’t get any more basic than that. Once he started doing stuff around the patch, particularly with young children, for example at Sherwood Park, he would come home quite choked.

“He would have loved this as his legacy and it makes his girls really, really proud. He worked so hard and he absolutely took what he did so seriously, more seriously than any other job in his previous life. He was totally committed.”

Kent County Council is also pushing forward with the Make Kent Quicker scheme to expand superfast broadband across Kent in memory of Mr Lynes.

Anyone interested in sponsoring the apprenticeship scheme should call 08458 247247.

Paul Champion

📱: 07540 704920

Twitter: @blogapprentice
Skype: paulchampion31

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