Week of events to showcase benefits of apprenticeships

James O'Sullivan, apprentice plumber with Barratt Homes.

James O'Sullivan, apprentice plumber with Barratt Homes.

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A week of activities to showcase the achievements and benefits that apprenticeships deliver for both apprentices and their employers is planned by Bedford Borough Council from Monday, March 3 until Friday, March 7.

During National Apprenticeship Week week, the following activities will be taking place:

Apprenticeship Drop-in Surgeries at The Jobs Hub on Monday 3rd, Wednesday 5th and Friday 7th March - there is no need to book, just come along between 9.30am and 4.30pm Monday or Wednesday, or between 9.30am and 1.30pm on Friday to learn more about Apprenticeships and speak to an expert adviser.

An ‘Engineering Apprenticeship Speed-Interviewing Event’ at The Jobs Hub on Tuesday, 4th March 2014, – this event will offer the chance for Bedford Borough residents interested in apprenticeships to be interviewed for an apprentice opportunity with local and national engineering firms. To book your place, contact Rebecca Smith via email at rebecca.smith@bedford.gov.uk.

An Apprenticeship Introduction Event at Bodyflight Bedford, in partnership with Bedford College and the National IT Partnership, on Thursday 6th March 2014-this event is open to 15-18 year olds and includes CV and employability skills workshops, with the opportunity to meet with local apprenticeship employers, providers and current apprentices. To book a place, students will need to liaise with their schools’ Careers Adviser or contact Rebecca Smith at the Jobs Hub.

Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, and the Federation of Small Businesses ‘Apprenticeship Tour’ on Friday 7th March 2014 – the apprenticeship tour will visit a range of small businesses who employ apprentices to learn more about their experiences.

Throughout the week, Bedford Borough Council will be tweeting why you should consider an apprenticeship or if you are an employer, why you should employ an apprentice. Follow us @bedfordtweets.

National Apprenticeship Week follows Mayor Dave Hodgson’s announcement of the ‘2016 in 2016’ Apprenticeship Challenge, which is a shared target with key partners in education, training and commerce to deliver 2016 apprenticeships a year by 2016. The latest performance data* reveals significant growth already in Apprenticeships locally. During 2012/13, Bedford Borough had over 1,300 all-age apprenticeship starts, which is a 36% increase on the previous year and builds further on significant growth over recent years.

Councillor Hodgson said: “The ‘2016 in 2016’ Apprenticeship Challenge represents an ambitious task, but we are ambitious about what we can achieve.

“Apprenticeships are good for young people and adults seeking employment and development, they are good for business and they are good for the local economy. The events during National Apprenticeship Week will provide a platform to showcase the benefits of taking up an apprenticeship or taking on an apprentice within your business.”

If you require further information about Apprenticeships and the National Apprenticeship Week events, or if you want to get involved with the 2016 Apprenticeship Challenge, please contact Lindsay Mitton at Bedford Borough Council, on 01234 276918 or email lindsay.mitton@bedford.gov.uk.

In addition to running Apprenticeship Drop-in sessions during National Apprenticeship Week, The Jobs Hub also runs fortnightly Apprenticeship surgeries. To book an appointment call 01234 223510 or visit them, 15 Greyfriars, Bedford.