Half-way mark for apprentice scheme

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COUNCIL bosses are issuing a rallying call to businesses to help 50 jobless young people get their first foot on the career ladder.

Sheffield Council’s Apprentice Challenge – backed by The Star – has celebrated reaching the halfway mark in its bid to secure 100 apprenticeships for out-of-work teenagers.

The campaign, launched in July, gives training to 16 to 18-year-olds to prepare them for the world of work, before matching them up with employers and part-subsidising an apprentice’s wage for up to two years.

But there is still funding for 50 more places available and the council needs more businesses to come forward to fill them.

So far the scheme has helped a host of different firms and independent businesses from across all sectors – from chinaware producers Mellorware to condiment-makers Catherine’s Choice, and one of Sheffield’s last remaining scissor-making specialists Ernest Wright and Son Ltd – to recruit apprentices. Support is also provided once the young people begin work.

Coun Bryan Lodge, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for finance and resources, said: “Apprenticeships have the ability to help drive business growth by delivering the skills enterprises need, and provide a better future for our young people. I would urge businesses in the city to get involved.”

Employers can email gareth.unwin@sheffield.gov.uk or call 0114 2296193 for more information on the scheme.