DONCASTER Council’s cabinet has backed plans to move forward with a scheme which could create hundreds of new apprenticeships in the borough.
A report on the plans, put before cabinet members, outlined how around 640 of the training posts could be created by setting up an apprenticeship hub in the borough – and it could offer training to another 320 people.
The scheme will cost around £640,000.
Mayor Peter Davies said after the meeting: “Doncaster Council will be enabling the creation of an additional 640 apprenticeships over the next three years within Doncaster businesses.
“We also have funding to improve the skills of a further 320 people putting them in a better position to secure higher level jobs.
“We hope these apprenticeships will go some way to addressing the numbers of unemployed young people across the borough. Apprenticeships are a unique way to grow a workforce combining practical training with more formal learning. There are huge benefits for both employer and employee.”
Money for the scheme will be provided by the Skills Funding Agency.
It comes at a time when Doncaster has more than 10,000 people looking for work. Figures released last month showed 10,658 people were currently looking for jobs.
The hub is intended to make it easier for businesses to take on apprentices. It will contribute money for qualifications, match the needs of business to what an apprenticeship can deliver, and broker agreements between employers and training providers. It will also screen applicants to make sure those who go to employers are ‘employment ready’, and provide support to apprentices and businesses.
The report says Doncaster’s current skills system is a weakness limiting economic growth.
Doncaster Central MP Rosie Winterton said: “More needs to be done to help people in Doncaster find jobs. The Government has sat on its hands while long-term unemployment in my constituency has risen by 51 per cent in the last year – that’s why Labour want to introduce a compulsory jobs guarantee to get anyone who has been out of work for more than two years straight into a job.”