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National Apprenticeship Week: Momentum Builds Towards 2016 in 2016

March 5, 2014 5:31 PM
Mayor Dave Hodgson with apprentices from the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives

Mayor Dave Hodgson with apprentices from the Kempston-based Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, which is one of the employers committed to the 2016 in 2016 Apprenticeship Challenge

This week is National Apprenticeship Week, with a range of events going on around the Borough to promote the benefits to individuals of seeking apprenticeship opportunities, and to employers of providing those opportunities. In January Mayor Dave Hodgson announced the Apprenticeship Challenge: "2016 in 2016". This followed an apprenticeships summit Mayor Dave convened where the Council, training and education providers and employers sat down and agreed to set an ambitious target to reflect the ambition they all have for increasing high quality apprenticeship opportunities for young people and adults. So, while we have already seen huge growth in apprenticeships in Bedford Borough recently, the Apprenticeship Challenge sets the shared challenge of achieving the annual figure of creating 2016 new apprenticeships in 2016.

Commenting, Mayor Dave Hodgson said: "The enthusiasm, expertise and commitment of local education and training providers and key employers makes me very confident that we will achieve '2016 in 2016', but it needs all partners to keep up the momentum towards this ambitious shared target. We need to expand the number of those key employers, as well as the number of young people who recognise the huge opportunities that an apprenticeship can represent. With that in mind, it is great to see the range of events taking place to mark National Apprenticeship Week.

I was able to pop into the Jobs Hub briefly yesterday and chatted to employers and young people attending the 'speed interviewing' event, which saw some of the leading local and national engineering firms undertaking short interviews with people interested in apprenticeship opportunities. This is just one example of the range of excellent events taking place, and I was pleased to hear how successful the day had been for both those employers which took part and a large number prospective apprentices."

In addition to yesterday's speed interviewing event and special apprenticeship drop-in surgeries which have also been taking place at the Jobs Hub this week, Bedford Borough Council is also involved in the following remaining National Apprenticeship Week events:

  • Apprenticeship Drop-in Surgeries at The Jobs Hub on Friday 7th March - expert advisers will be available between 9.30am and 1.30pm on Friday to those interested in learning more about apprenticeships. There is no need to book.
  • An Apprenticeship Introduction Event at Bodyflight Bedford, in partnership with Bedford College and the National IT Partnership, on Thursday 6th March 2014 - this event will see 15-18 year olds who have booked a place taking part in CV and employability skills workshops, with the opportunity to meet with local apprenticeship employers, providers and current apprentices.
  • The Federation of Small Businesses will be joining Mayor Dave for an 'Apprenticeship Tour' of the Borough on Friday 7th March 2014 - the apprenticeship tour will visit a range of small businesses who employ apprentices to learn more about their experiences.

Bedford College, the largest training provider of apprenticeships in Bedfordshire, is also taking part in a wide range of events during National Apprenticeship Week. You can find out more on its website here: http://www.bedford.ac.uk/About/News/2014/February/Apprenticeship-Week-March-3-to-7.aspx