OPINION: Benefits of apprentices

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The days of apprentices only being good for making tea are long gone.
The Star backs the trend for hiring apprentices and it is taking off in Sheffield as new research shows 5,450 new apprentices were employed across the city’s six parliamentary constituencies just last year.

And that’s not in only the traditional sectors.

Dental technology, horticulture, manufacturing and steel production are among the many sectors people can now start their career in with an apprenticeship.

But the really good news for firms is about the bottom line.

That same research has shown that taking on an apprentice - when you weight their output and subsidies against wages and training - brings an average financial benefit of £1,972.

The Association of Accounting Technicians, which commissioned the research, says this happens straight away, whenthe hired worker has started their role. - showing that giving people a chance can pay off on both sides.

The news comes after Derwent Construction revealed that it hopes to start work on the stalled ‘steel frame of Southey’ on Halifax Road.

Construction should begin in two months on the structure, which is part of the Kilner Way retail park.

Jobs wise, there could be another 250 roles created for local people – a boost that dwarfs the benefit of finally completing a site .

The reason why work could finally begin again was because of an ‘upswing in the economy.’

Although we are far from being out of the woods, another encouraging sign is figures from The Office for National Statistics announced yesterday.

They show that weekly earnings, when bonuses were included, have caught up with inflation after nearly six years of falling continously.

Today there are also 100 jobs advertised in The Star.

Let’s hope all of this shows that our unemployment levels are heading in the right direction for both businesses and workers.