Medway Council announces major cash boost for apprenticeships


Medway Council has announced details of a £200,000 fund for apprenticeships to help businesses and young people in Medway get the skills they need to grow.

The fund is the latest measure announced by the council to boost the number of apprenticeships in Medway and will provide local businesses with a wage or training subsidy of £2,000 to support them taking on an apprentice.

The council is contributing £100,000 to the subsidy, which is being matched by EU funds with the aim of supporting 90 apprenticeships between now and March 2012.

Paid directly to the training provider for the apprentice, the subsidy can be used to either help the employer pay the apprentice’s wages, or if they are over 19, will go towards their training costs.

The government will fund the training of any apprentice aged between 16 and 18 years old. From the age of 19 to 24 years old, the government will fund 50 per cent of training costs.

Targeted towards businesses with less than 50 employees across a range of priority sectors, from construction and engineering to horticulture, travel and tourism and creative industries, the subsidy aims to help bolster economic growth in the area while tackling youth unemployment.

The fund is the most recent investment in apprentices in Medway, and will follow on from the 100 in 100 Apprenticeship Challenge, launched in May to attract local businesses to take on – as the name suggests – 100 apprentices in 100 days.

Businesses who have pledged as part of the 100 in 100 campaign and fall within the criteria for the subsidy will also be able to apply for the grant. The grant will be limited to two apprentices per company.

The council’s Employ Medway team will work alongside the Connexions Service to help identify possible candidates for an apprenticeships, such as young people who are unemployed and looking for work.

Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Rodney Chambers, said: “As a former apprentice myself, I can only speak too highly of the real value of an apprenticeship. They are not only good for people who want get ahead and gain invaluable skills, but they’re also good for business and for the growth of our economy in Medway.

“We really are committed to driving up economic growth here in Medway and giving both businesses and the apprentices themselves, the tools they need to grow, develop skills and succeed.”

For more information on apprenticeships, visit www.medway.gov.uk

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