Apprentice schemes hailed as a success

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Education news
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COUNCIL leaders have praised Wigan’s apprentice and trainee schemes as the number of ‘NEET’ youngsters has dropped.

Recent unemployment figures show just six per cent of 16 to 18 year olds in the borough are classed as being not in employment, education or training.

This compares with 7.2 per cent at the same time last year and comes as the government said the numbers of NEETs has dropped to the lowest level nationwide since 2005.

Coun Jo Platt, cabinet member for children and families, said increasing numbers of young people were benefitting from apprenticeship and trainee schemes.

She added: “I’m really pleased to see that the number of young people unemployed or out of education in Wigan borough has reduced. There are so many initiatives, like the traineeship programme, which offer fantastic opportunities for our young people.

“Through these opportunities, young people like Mike are learning the skills and gaining the practical experience they need to further their careers.”

Last year the government launched its Traineeships programme with 50 Wiganers taking up the opportunity to boost their skills to find employment.

And the council has continued to fund apprenticeship schemes despite cuts to its budgets. Fir Tree Fishery, a social enterprise group based in Appley Bridge, is one of the traineeship providers in the borough. They have seen 10 members of their original cohort go on to gain employment or enrol in full-time education.

Owner and director Martin Taylor said: “The traineeship programme has been really successful.”

There are lots of opportunities available to school leavers, including traineeships and apprenticeships. For advice call the council’s Gateway team on 01942 486262.

If you are a business interested in trainee or apprenticeships, contact Wigan Council’s Economic Development and Skills Team for more details – email or call 01942 489177 or Wigan’s careers service number 01942 489443.