You’re hired: Wigan Council back National Apprenticeship Week with series of events to get young people in work

Getting young people into the workplace is the name of the game this week, as Wigan Council showcase a series of events for National Apprenticeship Week.

The series of information sessions, will will run over the course of the week, will aim to ‘raise the profile’ of apprenticeship schemes in the UK.

Into its seventh year, the National Apprenticeship week will run from March 3 to March 7 in co-ordination with the National Apprenticeship Scheme.

According to an apprenticeship spokesman, the scheme is ‘designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy’, while at the same time, aiming to ‘create further awareness and demand for apprentices’.

Wigan Council have backed the scheme and are offering people the chance to drop in on March 6 to find out more about either becoming an apprentice or taking one on through their own business.

“The apprenticeship programme here has been really successful and is going from strength to strength,” said deputy leader of Wigan Council, Councillor David Molyneux.

“We have supported apprenticeships for many years but have made a real commitment to a programme of recruitment of apprentices since 2012.

“Everyone benefits from an apprenticeship; employers find productivity increases, new ideas are brought into the business and staff retention improves.” 

“For many people, they are a great route into getting valuable workplace experience and improving their skills but for some they can be a real alternative to going to university.”

According to a survey conducted by, 72% of businesses reported improved productivity as a result of hiring an apprentice and 85% of apprentices stay in employment once they have finishing their course.

Anyone over the age of 16 and not in full-time education can currently apply for an apprenticeship.

One company eager to help young people with apprenticeships is Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (HABC), who will be hosting an information session on March 6 in Manchester.

“Many employers and training providers are curious about offering apprenticeships to people but are perhaps not sure how to take the next step,” said Mark Phillips, Communication Manager at HABC.

“The HABC roadshow will show them how.

“We’ll have presentations, talks and videos from organisations that have got involved, plus staff will be on-hand to answer any queries. 

“We’ll be taking delegates through the entire apprenticeship process, from start to finish, so they know how it works and whether it is right from them.”

HABC provides a number of different courses ranging from business admin and catering to retail and hospitality and Mr Phillips believes people should not be put off by apprenticeships.

He said: “From the outside, apprenticeships can seem complicated, but they are in fact quite simple.

“Essentially they provide young people with the chance to learn whilst they earn and get a recognised qualification at the end of it, while at the same time businesses get the chance to train and develop the next generation of workers.” 

Mr Phillips is also aware just how difficult it is for young people to find work and highlighted the significant role apprenticeships can play.

“At the moment, youth unemployment is a major concern for the country as a whole, both for now and for the consequences it has on young people’s future opportunities,” he said.

“An apprenticeship gives young people work experience and a wage, as well as providing them with the skills and knowledge to build a career. 

Various venues will be hosting events throughout the week with Manchester Law School running an information evening tonight.

In addition, a number of apprenticeship agencies are hosting coffee mornings. For more information, click here.

Image courtesy of UNAMID, via Flickr, with thanks

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