Apprenticeship scheme expanded to boost jobs

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A SCHEME offering grants of £2,500 to help businesses take on an apprentice has been expanded to enable more firms and youngsters to benefit.

Derbyshire Council is creating 1,000 apprenticeships – 500 in its workforce and 500 by businesses.

The authority joined forces with the National Apprenticeship Service to extend its Derbyshire Apprenticeship Grant for Employers scheme after the original 200 grants of £2,500 were snapped up within six months.

The link-up created another 300 grants of £2,500 and was initially for 16 to 18-year-olds and for businesses with fewer than 250 employees.

Now it has been expanded to allow grant applications for young people aged 16 to 24, and for businesses with up to 1,000 employees.

Councillor Kevin Parkinson said: “We’re keen that our investment benefits all districts of the county through apprenticeships, including for young people with disabilities. I’d urge companies - whether they’re a growing firm, social entrepreneur, or one of our larger businesses - to give serious consideration to taking on an apprentice and seize the funding opportunity which our AGE grant offers.”

n Call 08000 150 600 for more information.