Eden, Cumbria, The Lake District – A natural choice for business

Help for Eden businesses to take on apprentices

Head Gardener Martin Ogle with Apprentice Jordan Henderson and Economy Portfolio Holder David Hymers MBE

12 August 2015

If you’re an Eden based company looking to take an apprentice to expand your business this summer, then you could qualify for a grant of up £2,000 towards wage costs from the Eden Apprenticeship Scheme.

Over the past three years the Eden Apprenticeship Scheme has enabled 41 companies to take on 52 apprentices and has allocated £89,730 to help develop their careers.

One of the young people the Scheme has supported is Jordan Henderson, aged 20, an apprentice gardener at Lowther Castle and Gardens, near Penrith. Jordan has made a really positive contribution to the team who are developing and renovating the Castle grounds. The quality of his workmanship was recognised recently when he received the Apprentice of the Year Award from Newton Rigg College, where he studied for a Level 2 qualification in Work Based Horticulture.

Head Gardener at Lowther Castle and Gardens, Martin Ogle said: “Taking on an apprentice is an affordable option for any local business. It gives businesses the benefit of training young people for the chosen work place, whilst providing a solid stepping stone for a future career. The support from the Eden Apprenticeship Scheme has allowed us to offer extra land based training for Jordan which is beneficial to our work place.”

“Jordan has made a huge difference to the garden project at Lowther Castle. The knowledge and training he has received at Newton Rigg College has been fantastic, he has applied this to the work place to great effect. Jordan is a valued member of the small garden team here at Lowther Castle and he should be very proud of his achievements. I’m very pleased to say Jordan has accepted a full time position in the gardens at Lowther Castle, I very much look forward to working with and helping Jordan as he further develops his career in horticulture.”                                               

Through the Eden Apprenticeship Scheme local businesses can apply for a grant of up to £2,000 toward wage costs for each new apprenticeship. Companies may also be offered a further £1,500 from the government, if they qualify (usually if they have not taken on an apprentice in the last three years).

Eden District Council’s Economic Development Portfolio Holder, Councillor David Hymers MBE, said: “Young people like Jordan Henderson are a prime example of the positive contribution apprentices can make to a business. We recognise that many Eden businesses are SMEs, so need extra support to take on an apprentice and expand. The Eden Apprenticeship Scheme and government incentives help to make this a very realistic proposition for local companies.

“With quality training providers in the area such as Newton Rigg College, taking on apprentices is something I would encourage local business to seriously consider when they are looking to expand their workforce. The success of the Eden Apprenticeship Scheme through our partnership with Cumbria County Council is something we are very proud of.”

The funding for the Eden Apprenticeship Scheme is limited, so the priority will be for those businesses who can offer a good chance that an apprentice will become a permanent employee. The business must be located in Eden District. Businesses employing fewer than 250 employees are eligible for this funding, although smaller businesses may take priority.

Criteria for apprentices

  • Apprentices need to be aged from 16 to 24.
  • Pay will be at least the National Apprenticeship rate of £2.68 per hour.
  • Hours Apprentices will need to work a minimum of 30 hours per week.

Apprenticeship training provider

  • Employers are free to choose their own training provider.

For further information contact Lynne Metcalf, Apprenticeships Manager at Cumbria County Council telephone: 01228 221400 or email: lynne.metcalf@cumbria.gov.uk

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