General, Investing in our schools, Young people

Surrey apprentice campaign nears halfway mark

A campaign spearheaded by Surrey County Council to fill 200 apprentice places in 100 days has almost reached the halfway mark.

Employers have been coming forward pledging to take on apprentices as part of the council’s push to ensure all 16 to 19-year-olds in Surrey are in education, training or employment by 2015. The figure has now reached 95.

Tim Hall Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Learning, said: “We’re delighted with this progress to help young people get on the first rung of the career ladder.

“Now we want to push on to that 200 total as soon as possible as part of the council’s goal of making sure all young people in Surrey are in education, employment or training by 2015.”

Chris Blenkiron, 18, who began his customer relations apprenticeship with Guildford-based Surrey Chambers of Commerce in August, said: “I’ve been able to learn the valuable skills and gain the essential confidence that I know will be crucial to my success in the workplace.”

Matthew Joblin, the director of the Staines-based Community Film Unit which took on apprentice Stephanie Hopkins in January, said: “Apprenticeships are opportunities for young people to really get hands on and learn whilst doing the job.”

Surrey has one of the lowest number of young people considered NEET in the country with less than four in a hundred being classed as such. The national average is more than six in a hundred.

The council has taken on more than 70 apprentices since 2009.

Businesses interested in finding out more about taking on an apprentice can email apprenticeships@surreycc.gov.uk.

For people wishing to apply for an apprenticeship place, a list of current vacancies is available on the National Apprenticeship Service website.

Apprenticeships give young people valuable skills, work experience and qualifications. The target age group for Surrey’s scheme is 16 to 24 but it is open to older people.

Recent research shows apprentices earn an average of £170 a week. On average an apprenticeship lasts around 18 months.

Surrey Chambers of Commerce, young people’s charity Surrey SATRO, the Association of Learning Providers and the National Apprenticeship Service are supporting the campaign.

Ends

For more information, please contact senior media relations officer Kevin Richardson on 0208 541 7267 or email kevin.richardson@surreycc.gov.uk.

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