Bid to reduce youth jobless figures

Councillor Peter Jackson (right) with Simon Wigington, from the National Apprenticeship Service
Councillor Peter Jackson (right) with Simon Wigington, from the National Apprenticeship Service

COUNCIL bosses are teaming up with a national Government agency in a push to create more apprenticeship opportunities to combat unemployment among young people.

Simon Wigington, from the National Apprenticeship Service, is set to spend one day a week working alongside Hartlepool Borough Council’s economic development team to promote the apprenticeships to local employers and link them to local providers.

It comes as Hartlepool had a rise of 184 people Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants in December compared with November last year to stand at 4,451 people.

The bleak outlook also showed Hartlepool as having the third highest percentage of claimants in the 18-25 and the 25-49 age groups nationwide.

The announcement of the new scheme comes just days before National Apprenticeship Week, from February 6 to 10, which is a national campaign to raise awareness of the importance of apprenticeships.

The National Apprenticeship Service supports, funds and co-ordinates the delivery of apprenticeships throughout England and is responsible for increasing the number of opportunities and providing a dedicated, responsive service for both employers and learners.

The council has a long tradition of supporting apprenticeships and currently has 41 apprentices.

Councillor Peter Jackson, the council’s cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, said: “I am delighted that Simon is going to be spending some time in Hartlepool working with the council to promote apprenticeship opportunities. Apprentices have a major part to play in the future of our local economy and the skills they bring can help businesses to develop, be successful and grow.”

It is estimated that only 16 per cent of employers in the North-East region employ apprentices.

Mr Wigington added: “This is an excellent opportunity for both the council and The National Apprenticeship Service to show the real benefits that employing apprentices can bring to businesses and young people in Hartlepool.”

Any Hartlepool company wanting more information, should call 07880850633 or email simon.wigington@apprenticeships.gov.uk