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Bradford apprentice campaign smashes its target
A campaign to boost the number of apprenticeships available to young people and adults in the district has smashed its target more than a week before its deadline.
More than 150 apprenticeship places have so far been pledged by employers as part of the Bradford Apprenticeship Challenge, which aimed to secure 100 new positions in 100 days.
The campaign, which started at the beginning of February, will run until Wednesday, May 16, with even more employers expected to become involved during its final week.
Anthony Knowles, head of apprenticeships employer accounts at the National Apprenticeship Service, said: “It’s fantastic news for all of the apprentices that have got opportunities and the employers that are going to reap the benefits of growing their own talent. It’s not just good news for those businesses, it’s good news for the wider economy of Bradford. I hope more employers will follow their lead and take advantage of the many benefits of apprentices.”
Employers signing up to the Telegraph & Argus-backed campaign in the past couple of weeks include Bradford-based contracting, manufacturing and shopfitting firm PEC, which is offering six apprentices in joinery, decorating, electrical and plumbing.
The company, which last month opened a London office in Mayfair, offers commercial fit-out, refurbishment, bespoke joinery manufacture and project management to UK and European clients in the public and private sectors.
Managing director Sohan Panesar said: “We have employed apprentices since the 1990s and in the past two years have invested £100,000 in training. We firmly believe that local businesses have a responsibility to nurture local talent and build teams who can help them grow.”
Dalesway Pharmacy in Kingsway, Bingley, is offering apprenticeship places for two trainee dispensing assistants as part of the campaign. The new recruits will work towards an NVQ qualification accredited by Bradford College with a view to becoming pharmacy technicians.
Mohammed Iqbal, one of the business’s owners, said: “We are giving a chance to people who have never worked in pharmacy to get their foot in the door.”
Cleckheaton-based digital and creative media company Matthew Brand Solutions, which last year took on its first two apprentices, has pledged a further two positions as part of the apprenticeship challenge.
Deborah Foley, the company’s creative services manager, said: “This industry is very new to apprentices and I think with less people being able to go on to university it’s an ideal time for us as an industry to be able to develop creative talent and digital talent which school leavers are comfortable with and we can harness as a business to move forward.”
Other businesses taking part in the campaign include Saltaire-based Xpand Marketing and electronics manufacturing company Northern Design Electronics, based in Bolton Road, as well as Leeds-Bradford Airport.
Mohammed Mayat, employer account manager for the National Apprenticeship Service, said: “We are delighted that we have been able to meet our target within the 100 days. The challenge has really helped to raise the profile of apprenticeships in Bradford, and the response from employers has been tremendous. This is just the start we could do so much more here in Bradford.”
- For more information about apprenticeships and what they can offer businesses, go to apprenticeships.org.uk or call 08000 150600.