This has clearly underlined the business community’s intention to support this valuable initiative, which is needed more urgently than ever with the backdrop of severe youth unemployment.
So it was welcome news that David Cameron announced measures as part of national apprenticeship week which will assist companies in being able to employ apprentices.
Perhaps the most significant of these is a decision to offer companies an incentive of £1,500 for each apprentice taken on, which may well make the difference between hard-pressed small and medium enterprises being able to make the decision to hand someone their first step on the career ladder.
As for Northbrook College, principal Sue Dare has reported there has been a “strong initial response’ to the campaign.
Expressing her confidence in its new facilities at its Broadwater campus, she said she had been impressed by the range of companies that have so far come forward to either offer immediate starts or guaranteed pledges to employ apprentices.
She said a number of firms that already had links with the college had made recommendations to other local companies to follow their lead.
Brenda Cook, apprenticeship manager at Northbrook, added: “I am absolutely delighted by how the campaign has started at Northbrook College.
“We have been very busy in the apprenticeship team responding to enquiries from employers following publication of the supplement last week.
“The National Apprenticeship Service has, this week, announced a grant of £1,500 for employers taking on a new 16 to 24-year-old apprentice – which can only help to encourage employers thinking about apprenticeship training.”