Scheme gives a helping hand to job seekers and businesses across Lewes District

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There’s a gulf between the haves and the have-nots when it comes to people finding a job.

But to cross to the right side of that divide you just need to make a LEAP of faith – and get involved in an exciting employment initiative.

The Local Enterprise and Apprenticeship Programme seeks to connect local people with jobs and training opportunities. The scheme is being led by Lewes District Council and aims to promote employment and skills development.

Together these will boost economic growth across Lewes District, which has not been immune to some of the most challenging economic conditions of recent times.

LEAP is an initial two-year pilot programme with two core elements. The LEAP Entrepreneur Award offers the opportunity to take part in a free programme of training workshops that will help business visionaries obtain the skills and knowledge required to make their idea into a viable business start-up.

Secondly but most importantly comes LEAP’s promotion of apprenticeships with the obvious benefit to young people.

The scheme is seeking to engage with local businesses to encourage a greater number of opportunities for apprentices locally. Such aspiring young job-seekers can apply to undertake a short, intensive programme of training to ensure that they are ‘business ready’ for employment. So the programme is actively seeking employers willing to take on an apprentice who in turn can help to grow the businesses while working towards nationally recognised qualifications. An apprenticeship is a work-based learning programme for an employee. Nationwide, more than 100,000 employers, in more than 160,000 workplaces, currently use apprenticeships to attract new talent, re-skill existing staff and tackle skills shortages.

So how can you get involved? Young people, local businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs in need of help and advice can go to the LEAP website at or contact LEAP by email at

Cllr Rob Blackman, Lead Member for Business, Economic Developmet and Tourism at Lewes District Council, said: “LEAP seeks to connect local people with jobs and training opportunities. There are 2,500 businesses within the District and we want to talk to as many as possible who have thought about taking on an apprentice and would like to find out more. I would urge local businesses to contact the LEAP team to discuss how the initiative can help you and your businesses.”