Praise for rise in apprenticeship opportunities in Hartlepool ‘bucking national trend’

Hartlepool is bucking the trend in offering apprenticeships
Hartlepool is bucking the trend in offering apprenticeships

Councillors have praised a rise in the number of apprenticeships in the area - and the type of roles on offer.

Hartlepool Borough Council finance and policy committee heard the council will provide 54 apprenticeships in 2018/19 - including 44 new recruits alongside those in existing roles.

It will also have 88 existing employees taking part in range of apprenticeships from level 3 to level 7 and anticipates having a total number of 159 people taking in apprenticeships.

This will exceed the public sector apprenticeship target set by the Government to employ 2.3% of the workforce as new apprenticeships - which equates to approximately 69 people.

Nationally it is reported the number of apprenticeships fell by 25% between the introduction of the Apprentice Levy in 2017 and the same period in 2018

The Apprenticeship Levy is a levy on UK employers to fund new apprenticeships which started in May last year.

However Hartlepool Borough Council has been bucking the trend and councillors have praised the impact of apprenticeships in the area.

Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher said: “The apprenticeship levy seems to have had a hard impact on the Tees Valley and the fact that Hartlepool is bucking that trend in terms of apprenticeships is good news.”

Coun Brenda Harrison said: “I commend the council for offering these kind of apprenticeships.

“A number of years ago they would be do shelf-stacking kind of jobs for very little.

“When we get these sort of apprenticeships at the council which are interesting and offer a variety of skills it is very encouraging.”

Coun Shane Moore said: “Taking on more apprenticeships is vital for the local authority.

“It’s important we invest in younger people  and it’s nice to see when we’re taking on apprentices we’re giving them genuine skills, it’s very encouraging we are giving them worthwhile apprenticeships.

Coun Mike Young said: “Even shelf-stacking apprenticeships are the first step to jobs, it is good to see so many apprenticeships on offer in the area.”

Apprenticeships on offer by the council include fields such as joinery, painting and decorating, business administration, plumbing and electrical jobs.

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service