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Apprenticeships hailed as vital for North Yorkshire's future
1:29pm Monday 11th March 2013 in News
THREE schemes to improve young people’s employment opportunities and boost the North Yorkshire economy have been hailed at the launch of National Apprenticeship Week.
As David Cameron pledged to make it the norm for school leavers to take an apprenticeship or go to university, the company behind a £1.5bn project to mine potash on the North York Moors said it was creating 20 new engineering apprenticeship opportunities for local people aged under 25.
The York Potash apprentices will join the firm in September as mechanical fitters, electricians, instrumentation electricians and multi-skilled operators.
The firm’s education and skills programme will see up to 500 people trained over the next three years, including up to 50 apprentices, to work at the mine at Sneaton, near Whitby.
Following concerns York Potash would recruit much of its workforce from across Britain and abroad, Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby, said he was pleased the firm was investing in developing skills locally.
As a study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research revealed apprenticeships in 2012/13 raised an employee’s gross productivity by an average of £214 a week, councils across North Yorkshire said apprenticeships were vital, both economically and socially.
Ryedale District Council said it would spend £250,000 on two schemes in an attempt to enable more young people to live in the area, where recent rises in housing prices have been linked to people wanting second homes or seeking to retire there.
The authority will fund £100,000 on eight new apprentice posts across the its departments while a £150,000 fund will financially assist businesses in Ryedale who wish to take on apprentices.
The council’s leader Councillor Linda Cowling said: “It is essential that Ryedale’s young people are given every opportunity to improve their skills and experience, and to move forward with a career in the local area.”
As part of a drive to promote apprenticeships in Hambleton district, one of the first apprentices appointed the district council’s £100,000 Changing Lives Building Business scheme has been handed an award for his achievements.
Christian Parker, 16, an apprentice at Dales of Thirsk granite and marble work firm, has been named Achiever Of The Year by York College.
The Hambleton district apprenticeships are on offer to firms willing to take on unemployed young people.
Christian and fellow apprentice Holly Watkins, who started work for Artyparty in Thirsk in October, have both received grants from Thirsk Rotary Youth Trust under a scheme to help further education or vocational training of 16 to 20 year olds from the area.
Christian used his to buy tools while Holly will spend hers on two training courses.