Apprentice scheme to help Craven businesses

Craven Herald: North Yorkshire Apprenticeship hub manager Karen Leah with Pennine Marine’s Peter Bryson North Yorkshire Apprenticeship hub manager Karen Leah with Pennine Marine’s Peter Bryson

A new free business support service is set to provide a helping hand to small and medium enterprises in the Craven area which are thinking of recruiting a young person as an apprentice.

The North Yorkshire Apprenticeship hub offers impartial advice and support to help businesses through the maze of choosing an apprenticeship framework, identifying the right training provider and employing the best apprentice.

The one-stop-shop approach offers information on the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE) which can offer businesses £1,500 provided they haven’t taken on an apprentice within the last 12 months.

The service is part of the Leeds City Region initiative which aims to encourage business growth, and the new hub will provide an essential hand holding service according to manager Karen Leah.

She said: “Businesses throughout the country are seeing the advantages of recruiting an apprentice. About 96 per cent of employers report benefits to their business with over 80 per cent seeing an increase in productivity.

“However, for the busy small business it can be a challenging process which is why the hub offers a vital service. It will considerably reduce the time commitment for employers as identifying frameworks and training providers, and help with applications can be carried out by the hub.

“There are 280 different apprenticeship frameworks ranging from general business administration to specialist para legal, engineering or marketing, covering over 1500 jobs roles.”

Skipton boat business Pennine Marine is one of the first businesses to have taken advantage of the service.

The firm, which sells, builds and repairs rigid inflatable power boats, has seen a 60 per cent increase in enquiries on last year.

Managing director of Pennine Marine Peter Bryson said he was keen to build on the increased interest and aimed to add to his small man team with a business administration apprentice.

He said: “We’re seeing a real change in customer behaviour, people are literally buying boats over the internet unseen. We need to take advantage of these online opportunities so the business needs an enthusiastic young person to manage the enquiries and promote the business.

“From my knowledge there appears to be a surprising number of good opportunities out there for young people. Increasingly the businesses that are successful are the niche/specialist ones.

“Our apprentice will have the opportunity to grow with the business and be a part of a team that charters new markets.”

l Anyone wishing to take advantage of the service should book an appointment by contacting Karen at apprenticeshiphub@northyorks.gov.uk.

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