A campaign spearheaded by Surrey County Council to fill 200 apprentice places in 100 days has reached its target with time to spare.
The success of the apprenticeship drive was confirmed as National Apprenticeship Week kicked off yesterday (6 February)*.
Employers have been coming forward since the end of September 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.
Tim Hall Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Learning, said: “Reaching the 200 target is fantastic news and a great boost for young people looking to get on the first rung of the ladder in their chosen career.
“The number of young people in Surrey not in education, employment or training (NEET) is very low compared to the national average but the council’s goal is make sure nobody in Surrey is classed as NEET by 2015.
“It is essential we do all we can to create jobs and opportunities for the next generation and I’m very grateful to all the employers, whether they’re in media, construction or business administration, that have helped us to rise to this challenge.
“The county council is playing its part in investing in apprenticeships too. We’ve employed nearly 90 apprentices in just under three years, with more than 50 still working for us, and we’ll continue to do all we can to prepare today’s young people for a successful future.”
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 200 in 100 days apprenticeship drive also included the Association of Learning Providers, Surrey Chambers of Commerce, young people’s charity Surrey SATRO and the National Apprenticeship Service.
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Notes for editors
* The campaign runs until Friday, 17 February.
Large and small businesses have come forward to take on apprentices as part of the campaign, ranging from Virgin Media to the Sun Inn, Dunsfold.
Apprenticeships give young people valuable skills, work experience and qualifications. Surrey targeted 16 to 24-year-olds but the campaign was also open to older people
Recent research shows apprentices earn an average of £170 a week. On average an apprenticeship lasts around 18 months.