More than 15,000 people have started apprenticeships in Wigan Borough over the past seven years – the second highest take up in Greater Manchester.
As part of this, Wigan Council has helped more than 200 businesses access apprentices and supported over 200 apprentices within its organisation since 2012.
Georgina Atherton from Pemberton secured an apprenticeship with the council in 2012. She’s since moved on to permanent employment and is currently working on the Believe in Her campaign in the public relations team. She said:
“The apprenticeship has opened a lot of doors for me. I’ve been able to gain qualifications at the same time as working – it’s helped me realise the career path I want to progress in. It’s been an amazing opportunity.”
Cllr David Molyneux, Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for regeneration, said: “These figures should be celebrated as apprenticeships are making a real difference to the lives of so many young people, bringing opportunities for them to access work and gain qualifications at the same time.
“This is really good news not only for the local economy but also that of the wider Greater Manchester region, and we will be building on this work as part of the growth agenda in our Deal for the Future.”
The council has invested £3m into apprenticeship programmes since 2012. They include the council’s internal programme and the Business Apprenticeship Programme, which offers grants to local businesses to help them take on new apprentices.
A further £1m was pledged for the Confident Futures scheme, which provides young people not in employment, education or training (NEETS) with work experience and classroom learning over a six week period, followed by work placement opportunities and further learning through traineeships or apprenticeships. 75 young people have taken part, with more than 60 now benefiting from work experience, 20 having accessed an apprenticeship and seven gaining employment.
Research into the internal apprenticeships and Confident Futures schemes has shown that the programmes provide good value for money, with every £1 spent returning more than double the public value.
The figures were discussed at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting at Wigan Town Hall as part of an annual review of apprenticeships. For more information about apprenticeships visit www.wigan.gov.uk/apprenticeships