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Cumbria takes leading role in provision of apprenticeships

03 August 2015

Latest figures from central Government indicate that the Cumbrian economy is offering some of the highest numbers of apprenticeships in the UK.

In a national analysis looking at the proportion of 16-17 year olds who are recorded as being in education and training, 10.7% of Cumbria’s young workforce are now undertaking apprenticeships.

According to the data and a new scorecard system released by the Department for Education, the county is second only to the city of Derby in successfully getting young people into this type of education, employment or training.  Derby scores the highest with just over 11%, whilst several London boroughs score less than 1%.

New local authority data included in the scorecards reveals a year-on-year rise in the proportion of 16 and 17-year-olds in education and training.

George Beveridge, Chairman of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, says: “Investment in developing the key skills of our future workforce is an integral driver in our strategy to become one of the fastest growing economies in the UK and to create 15,000 jobs in Cumbria by 2024.

“These figures underline how our local authority partners, training providers and employers are working together to get more young people into education, employment or training as a whole, and apprenticeships in particular.

“Strategic workforce planning is a major consideration in the overall process too, because we need to ensure that there are appropriate full time roles for apprentices to move into once their training is completed.”

Cumbria Growth Deal projects overseen by the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership include an Advanced Technology Training Centre at Furness College, a purpose-built training facility to service the demand for skills training, supporting the advanced manufacturing sector linked to BAE Systems and GSK Ulverston growth plans.   It also includes plans for an Advanced Manufacturing Centre for Carlisle College to deliver an employer led curriculum at all levels to the engineering, manufacturing and processing sectors.

Head of Strategy at BAE Systems Maritime-Submarines Jackie Arnold adds: “It’s not surprising to us to learn that Cumbria is performing well in provision and participation of apprenticeships.  One of the biggest positives the county has is the high quality of training available.  Young people are keen to learn from leading industry experts and they’re looking at apprenticeships as an alternative and more cost effective route into blue chip businesses rather than going on to university.”

Funding from the Cumbria Skills and Capital Investment Programme via the Local Enterprise Partnership is to be used to deliver more state of the art facilities, bring together learning and workspace to stimulate enterprise and increase STEM R&D laboratory space.

Government reforms to engage young people have included raising the age of participation in education or training to 18, improving the quality of vocational education so that it is increasingly seen as a proper alternative route, and introducing traineeships to help young people into apprenticeships.

View the whole article here http://www.cumbriacrack.com/2015/08/03/cumbria-takes-leading-role-in-provision-of-apprenticeships/

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