Wiltshire Council is launching a new scheme to get more people and employers involved in apprenticeships.
The initiative, entitled The Wiltshire Apprenticeships Campaign was launched at County Hall in Trowbridge and it’s seeking to increase the number of apprenticeships from the currents levels of 5,000 to 6,750 by 2020.
The Wiltshire Apprenticeships Campaign will work with the Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Training Provider Network, as well as the National Apprenticeship Service and several employer apprenticeship ambassadors.
“Apprenticeships for me are absolutely crucial to the economy of this county,” said Jane Scott, leader of Wiltshire Council.
She went on to stress the importance of focussing on the future rather than just the present “to make sure that the next generation have the skills in the county that are for higher level jobs and not just any job”.
In October next year, the campaign is planning to organise a graduation ceremony for the county’s higher apprentices. Last year only 40 apprentices reached and passed the higher level in the county, whilst four out of ten apprenticeship starts are at level 3.
Past apprentices reminisced about their experiences saying how crucial they were to their development. Megan Mounty, who was an apprentice at the council, said, “I didn’t do the best in school but through the apprenticeship I’ve passed my Maths, English and IT and passed all my exams with distinction and merits”.
Debbie Williams, Managing director of John Williams Heating Services in Chippenham, urged all employers to “take the leap of faith” and take the time to train new generations.
“As employers it’s our duty to take them on and give that person the opportunity to grow,” she added.