Campaign launched to boost apprenticeships

Gripple Engineering Team Leader Kirk White with Sheffield College apprentice Joe Bedford
Gripple Engineering Team Leader Kirk White with Sheffield College apprentice Joe Bedford
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A CAMPAIGN has been launched by Sheffield College to encourage more employers to hire an apprentice - or increase the number they already have.

The initiative marking National Apprenticeship Week aims to show how companies can get ahead by taking on recruits and developing the skills their businesses need.

One example is 21-year-old Joe Bedford, who is completing a five year engineering apprentice at Gripple Ltd after turning his back on a football career.

He said: “My dad’s an engineer, and I know Sheffield engineering firms are still going strong despite the recession. I wanted to develop a skill but also gain qualifications, working my way up the various levels.

“Plus, I am the sort of person who prefers to learn by doing. I really enjoy my job, the staff are friendly and always willing to help.”

Sheffield College is also offering a free business review which will highlight any skills gaps that employing an apprentice can fill.

It is offering a free geographic profile to employers, which will reveal the skills of the local population on their doorstep.

The campaign aims to increase the total number of apprentices studying at any one time at the college from 856 to 1,000 during the next year.

Chief executive Heather MacDonald said: “Apprentices are the skilled workers of tomorrow and offer employers the chance to harness new talent to spark and fulfil their business potential. They are critical to growth.”