A leading apprenticeship provider is urging Worcestershire engineering businesses to take advantage of regional incentives to develop the next generation of highly-skilled workers.
College group WCG – which includes Evesham College and Pershore College – is highlighting the opportunities available to employers during National Apprenticeship Week (7-13 February).
Figures from Skills4Worcestershire show that there are around 32,000 engineers in Worcestershire, which is around 150 per cent more than the national average, and there are 2,285 businesses within the region’s advanced manufacturing and engineering sector. WCG is a nationally renowned engineering apprenticeship provider and trains engineering apprentices at its Evesham College.
The college group was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in recognition of its engineering apprenticeship programmes. WCG has pioneered employer-centric provision and rapidly responded to the changing needs of the industry. A trio of incentive schemes are available to Worcestershire businesses to encourage and support them to take on apprentices.
This includes the Malvern Hills and Wychavon Upskilling Grant Scheme. The scheme offers £2,000 for businesses that are in the Malvern Hills or Wychavon district postcode area and employ fewer than 250 people. A local apprenticeship grant of £1,500 is available for small to medium size employers through Bromsgrove District and Redditch Borough Council – with a priority on apprenticeships being provided in advanced levels 3 and 4. Finally, Worcestershire City Council has joined forces with the Worcestershire Training Provider Association to help more local businesses develop their workforce with apprenticeships. £20,000 is available this financial year to award a salary and/or training contribution grant depending on the level of the apprenticeship.
Krishna Parekh, Head of Business Development at WCG, said:
“Engineering and manufacturing is a key growth sector for the economy in Worcestershire and it’s vital that there is a pipeline of highly-skilled individuals to drive the sector forward.
“We have been working closely with a number of engineering employers in the region to develop our apprenticeship programmes and ensure they are responding to the needs of industry.
“However it is clear that many businesses, not limited to the engineering sector, aren’t aware of the range of incentives available from local, regional and national Government to take on apprentices.
“National Apprenticeship Week has shined a light on the importance of apprenticeships and they are central to the national skills strategy moving forward. We hope more businesses will become aware of these incentives and consider apprenticeships as a way of future-proofing their workforce.”
To find out more about apprenticeship incentives available to employers in Worcestershire visit https://wcg.ac.uk/page/1964/apprentice-incentives