Headlines: February 24th, 2009

An online community website for sharing information has been launched by the Improvement and Development Association to support local authorities in developing apprenticeships for 16 to 24-year-olds. Users can log on to the Community of Practice, order a media pack and gain access to ‘apprenticeship tracker’ and ‘apprentice’s pen portrait gallery’.

This fresh look at how apprenticeships can help councils develop and recruit young people into their workforce coincides with the Apprenticeship Week programme of events to encourage employers to look again at their workforce strategy.

From April 2009, the new National Apprenticeship Service will provide direct support to local authorities taking on apprentices through the Vacancy Matching Service. The aim is to increase the number of apprenticeships in local government by 7,500. The jobs will include customer service; warehousing; hospitality and catering; and business and administration posts.

From 2013, all suitably qualified 16-18 year olds who want one will be entitled to take up an apprenticeship. The government has set a target of 1 in 5 young people in England undertaking apprenticeships by 2020.

Other areas of the public sector are also taking up the challenge. There are plans to recruit 5,000 more apprentices in the National Health Service and social care, 4,500 more in schools and children’s services and 600 more in central Government departments.

David Collins, President of the Association of Colleges, said: “We want all colleges to look seriously at how they could take on a small number of apprentices as part of their workforce. We have so far identified almost 500 apprentices in the colleges we surveyed and we have now set ourselves a collective target of 1500 based on the information we have to date.”

Follow the link to the IDeA website. http://www.idea.gov.uk/idk/search/system-search.do?forwardTo=&k=cop+apprenticeships&x=45&y=14