A five-month campaign to get 500 businesses across the county to take on an apprentice has surpassed its half-way mark.
The You’re Hired initiative was launched last month with the aim of getting firms from the five districts and boroughs of East Sussex involved.
Since then a total of 269 employers have vowed to hire an apprentice, offering on-the-job training and qualifications.
The county council has teamed up with district and borough councils, business groups, colleges and training centres, the National Apprenticeship Service and Apprenticeships in Sussex for the initiative.
Becky Shaw, East Sussex County Council’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted with the response we have received and are more than halfway to our target.
“Employers are already recognising the benefits of hiring an apprentice and we hope many more will join our campaign.”
Employers are already recognising the benefits of hiring an apprentice and we hope many more will join our campaignBecky Shaw, East Sussex County Council’s chief executive
Launch events were held simultaneously in Hastings, Eastbourne and Lewes, compered by a prominent member of the local business community, and gave employers the opportunity to find out about apprenticeships.
The Hastings launch was held at Stade Hall and was compered by Keith Ridley, former editor-in-chief of the Observer Series.
Employers and apprentices from Talkative Online and Hastings Borough Council took to the stage to share their apprenticeship experiences, while catering was supplied by Sussex Coast College.
Becky added: “Supporting and encouraging local business growth is a key priority for East Sussex County Council.
“The You’re Hired campaign is just one of a number of initiatives aimed at boosting employment and ensuring relevant and high quality training is available.
“As part of our employability and skills strategy, we are working closely with local secondary schools, colleges and universities and businesses to ensure young people in East Sussex receive the best training possible and can start a successful career in their home county.”
Businesses interested in hiring an apprentice or finding out more about the benefits, can visit www.eastsussex.gov.uk/hired or call the National Apprenticeship Service on 0800 015 0600 or visit www.apprenticeships.gov.uk.
Anyone interested in becoming an apprentice can call 0800 0150 400 or visit www.apprenticeships.gov.uk.
Anyone aged between 16 and 19 who requires further support can contact the East Sussex Youth Employability Service (YES) on 01323 410803 or 01424 722045, or log onto www.facebook.com/yeseastsussex.