THE Star today joins forces with Sheffield Council to get city firms to take on 100 apprentices and help tackle youth unemployment.
According to the latest figures from Sheffield Council, there are 1,393 16 to 18 year olds - 733 boys and 660 girls - not in education, training or employment - youngsters known as NEETs.
Now The Star has teamed up with the council in its latest drive to get 100 young people into the world of work as soon as possible.
The Apprentice Challenge will aim to get more companies on board, highlight success stories and continue to highlight the campaign until all of the posts are filled, helping to spread the word to businesses across the city.
Last October, the council launched its 100 Apprenticeships Scheme, which was set up in a bid to give jobless over-16s not in training or education the chance to learn new skills, experience the world of work, and gain a qualification.
Service Sheffield Futures identifies young people who would benefit from extra help to enter employment undertake a six-week programme designed to teach them the importance of the basics such as time-keeping, dressing appropriately and interview techniques, before they are matched up with potential employers.
The council then part-subsidises the wage of the young person for two years.
In just a few months, more than 100 young people entered apprenticeships.
Businesses from Museums Sheffield, to silverware specialist Chimo Holdings Ltd, to snack bars and cafes- have signed up to the scheme.
Laura Hayfield, Opportunity Sheffield manager at Sheffield Council, said: “We have a big problem in this city with businesses who can’t afford to take apprentices on.
“Their average workforce can be 50 years old and so there is a real risk of skills dying out.”
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, and so I would urge businesses in the city to get involved.”
n If you think your business could benefit from The Star and Sheffield Council’s Apprentice Challenge, contact Laura via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0114 2296186