Businesses based in Wigan borough could receive a share of £375,000 as part of a drive to recruit more apprentices in the construction, manufacturing, engineering and digital industries.
In 2018, Wigan Council leader David Molyneux pledged his support to providing more opportunities for young people by announcing the funds, which allows businesses and sole-traders to receive financial support in return for the recruitment of a local apprentice between the ages of 16 and 24.
The Apprenticeships for Young People (AYP) programme offers grants of up to £5,000, depending on the length of the apprenticeship, which will help employers to upskill and train the borough’s young people using a training provider of their choice.
Coun Molyneux said: “Apprenticeships are a win-win for everybody involved.
“Not only does the business or employer benefit from fresh ideas and a new perspective, but the apprentices themselves can gain recognised qualifications, better their skills and kick-start their careers.
“It’s important we continue to encourage young people into a range of industries and provide options for them to develop and learn. We also need to support businesses in recruiting and training apprentices.
“We’re doing this by offering financial help and ensuring they have the contacts they need to benefit from this fantastic opportunity.”
The scheme is open to all young people resident in the borough but has also been designed to ensure that those with disabilities or learning difficulties, care leavers and young people not
in education, employment or training can progress through an apprenticeship.
Coun Molyneux added: “Providing all of our young people with the very best opportunities we can is a key priority for me. Young people who have experienced difficulties or are currently out of work and need a boost shouldn’t miss out because of factors out of their control.
“This is why we wanted to create genuine apprenticeship opportunities for them through this programme.
“We’ve already received interest from businesses and have already recruited in some instances, so we are looking forward to rolling this scheme out even further over the coming months.”
Wigan Council is also supporting the Greater Manchester wide campaign, #SeeDifferent, which encourages all 10 local authority areas in the region to create apprenticeship opportunities over the next 12 months with a further cash boost of almost £120,000.
Coun Molyneux continued: “Although we already have a great apprenticeship provision in place in Wigan Borough, the AYP programme is specific to the manufacturing, digital, construction and engineering trades, so the extra money from Greater Manchester will help us to continue supporting apprenticeships in other sectors.”
Businesses who are interested in finding out more should visit www.wiganworks.com and click ‘Recruitment and Education’.