New £1.5m campaign launched to combat Suffolk’s skills shortage

Suffolk County Council and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership have launched a £1.5million campaign to double the number of apprenticeship places in Suffolk and create thousands of new jobs for young people.

The campaign is calling on employers in the county to help reach the target of 5,000 new apprenticeships by 2019, in order to tackle the skills shortage.

Deputy leader of the council, Lisa Chambers, said: “Apprenticeships are already thriving in Suffolk, helping to create a strong and growing economy while improving the prospects and earning potential of thousands of young people. We want to make more people aware of the fantastic range of opportunities on offer across the county and encourage more employers to consider how hiring an apprentice could benefit their business. There has never been a better time to think about an apprenticeship and over the next three years, we will be investing £1.5m to make it as easy as possible to employ an apprentice or start an apprenticeship.”

“The perception of apprenticeships is often a barrier to young people and businesses. We need to end the stereotype that apprenticeships are only available in traditional sectors, such as construction or manufacturing. In fact they cover nearly 1,500 job roles in almost 200 industries, from advertising to software development, engineering to accountancy, public relations to construction and veterinary nursing. They’re available across Suffolk too. Neither are they unpaid work experience. Apprenticeships are real jobs that come with a wage. Apprentices work at least 30 hours per week, earning at least minimum wage – currently £2.68 per hour for under 19s and first year apprentices – but often significantly more.”