A Surrey County Council drive to create apprenticeships has helped more than 2,000 young people get a leg up on the career ladder in four years.
That is roughly the equivalent of filling every role at Krispy Kreme’s UK headquarters in Camberley and McLaren Automotive’s base in Woking*.
The milestone was revealed by deputy leader Peter Martin as he hailed the achievements of apprentices during a graduation ceremony at Guildford Cathedral.
He was at the event organised by the Association of Learning Providers in Surrey (ALPS) to help around 100 young people celebrate their success.
Most of the 2,000-plus apprentices were hired through a cash incentive scheme launched in 2011, with others being taken on by the county council or its contractors.
In the past year, 16 and 17-year-olds filled the majority of places in areas such as accounting, banking, horticulture and IT, although apprenticeships are also open to older people. Recently the council has focused on helping vulnerable young people find opportunities and promoting the wide range of apprenticeships available.
Surrey’s apprentice push is part of the council’s efforts to stimulate economic growth and add to the £37 billion the county contributes to the national economy.
In his speech Mr Martin said: “We will do all we can to ensure our local businesses – large and small – continue to prosper and continue to offer more and more opportunities for jobs and careers.
“Surrey County Council, with employers and colleges of further education across the county, has helped to create over 2,000 apprenticeships over the last four years. These numbers are growing, year on year. We are totally committed to building on that achievement.
“Of course, our success is your success because none of this would be possible without your hard work, your passion and your dedication.”
Sue Green, network manager for ALPS, said: “We were delighted to run the Surrey Apprenticeship Graduation for the second year at Guildford Cathedral. The event was a huge success – over 100 gowned apprentices graduated, supported by 350 guests, employers and training providers.”
* Source: Best Companies