Bradford college launches drive for National Apprenticeship Week (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford college launches drive for National Apprenticeship Week
Would-be apprentices are being urged to sign up to a course during National Apprenticeship Week, which starts on Monday.
The drive comes days after the £4.5 million Bradford Council Employment Opportunities Fund started to help 400 long-term unemployed people in the district find work.
Now Bradford College is asking people to sign up to wide range of apprenticeship programmes through City Training Services (CTS), part of the College, which is this year celebrating 30 years of delivering apprenticeships in Yorkshire.
Latest figures from the National Apprenticeship Service show a 15 per cent year-on-year rise to 64,200 in the number of people starting apprenticeships in Yorkshire and Humber during the academic year 2011/12.
The College’s apprenticeship programme offers traditional trade apprenticeships such as plumbing and painting and decorating to more modern ones including accounting, business administration and pharmacy.
College principal Michele Sutton said: “Apprenticeships are a great way for young people to learn and gain nationally recognised qualifications while at the same time being employed and earning. They are able to gain a range of valuable skills and experience that set them on their way in their chosen careers and the world of work.”
Meanwhile, new funding is available for students aged 24 and over looking to take Further Education courses at all colleges across the UK.
The 24+ Advanced Learning Loans come into force this year and, as with tuition fees for degrees, do not have to be paid back until earnings are over £21,000 a year. Local students can start applying for the cash in April for courses starting in September.
The 24+ Loans will be available to those studying Level 3 and 4 courses including AS and A Levels, NVQs, advanced and higher apprenticeships and Access to HE courses.
Mrs Sutton said: “This is a great opportunity for those over 24 to gain more qualifications. Those who are qualified at Level 3 and above experience many benefits, including increased wages, compared to those less qualified. As loans will not be means tested and the interest will be lower than anything available on the high street, the 24+ Advanced Learning Loan is a viable option that we expect many to take up.”
Lucy Mountain, 23, of Queensbury, Bradford, is doing an accounting apprenticeship with CTS.
She said: “Doing an apprenticeship has worked out really well for me. I’m being paid while I’m learning and at the same time I’m picking up lots of other skills and experience from being employed and in work.”