Chesterfield News

Chamber welcomes new government support for apprenticeships

Small businesses (SMEs) in Chesterfield and the East Midlands region could get a surge in under 21s taking up apprenticeships, thanks to new government funding announced recently.

The Prime Minister has outlined plans to enable up to 20,000 more apprenticeships with a number of reforms. The government says it will pay the full cost of apprenticeships for people aged 21 or under at small firms from 1 April, and is pledging £60m of new investment for next year.

The government says this will reduce costs and burdens for businesses and deliver more opportunities for young people to kick start their careers. It also says the reforms will remove the need for small employers to meet some of the cost of training, whilst saving time and costs for providers like further education colleges who currently need to source funding separately from the government and businesses.

East Midlands Chamber Head of Employment Services Paul Needham said: “We know the value apprenticeships have on young people, in giving them real skills from a busy workplace and experiencing the challenges a business faces in a real world situation each day. For too long cost has been a barrier for many would-be apprentices and SMEs.

“For opportunities to be opened in this way is something I very much welcome. We work with a number of apprenticeship providers and see success after success when people achieve their goals; often they gain skills they had never envisaged. Businesses really see the benefit too as the enthusiasm to learn translates to good work so they’re a win-win. The more we can help young people get into work and develop the skills SMEs need will have a positive effect on the wider economy in the East Midlands.”

Is your business looking to upskill or recruit? Find out more about the benefits of taking on an apprentice and inspiring the next generation at:

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Apprentice welder and mentor at a local manufacturing business in Chesterfield

Josh Marsh

Destination Chesterfield Coordinator (Investment and Marketing)

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Young male measuring a cupboard door in the workshop at Chesterfield College

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