Agricultural dealership Clarke and Pulman have achieved a double first with West Lancashire Borough Council.
The Burscough business is the first company to be awarded a Let’s talk Apprentices grant by the Council and to sign the authority’s Let’s talk Employment & Skills Charter.
Both of these schemes are part of the Council’s commitment to support employment and skills initiatives in West Lancashire.
The Let’s talk Apprentices grant scheme encourages local businesses to recruit West Lancashire residents aged 16 to 24 into employment through an apprenticeship programme. Alongside the government’s AGE Incentive grant this means companies could potentially receive up to £2,500 towards recruiting an apprentice, subject to eligibility. Let’s talk Apprentices grants are only available whilst funding lasts so businesses should apply quickly.
The Let’s talk Employment & Skills Charter is an agreement between the Council and individual businesses to support local employment and skills initiatives. The Council will provide businesses who sign up to the charter with information on funding and grant opportunities, business networking and much more. There is no cost to businesses for signing up to the charter, but in return, the Council asks companies to dedicate at least one day a year to support local employment and skills initiatives. Such activities may include attending school and careers events, providing apprenticeship and work experience opportunities and recruiting local residents.
Lyndsey Smith, Commercial Manager from Clarke and Pulman, said: “Young people are important to our business; we’ve always had a high percentage of previous apprentices remaining with the company long term. We’d like to thank the Council for their support allowing us to employ more apprentices who are ambitious and enthusiastic. As an employer who invests in apprenticeships and recruiting local residents, we are proud to be a member of the Let’s talk Employment & Skills Charter.”
Councillor Ian Moran, Leader of West Lancashire Borough Council and portfolio holder for Economic Regeneration, said: “The Council is committed to sustainable regeneration and growth by supporting our West Lancashire businesses, helping to create opportunities, improving skill levels and retaining quality jobs for local people.”
“I would encourage other local businesses to follow Clarke and Pulman’s example and sign up for the Let’s talk Employment & Skills Charter and apply for a Let’s talk Apprentices grant. Many employers are already supporting these types of activities and your business may be one of them, which is all the more reason to sign up and gain recognition for your efforts. Funding for the grants is limited so businesses should apply quickly.”
For further information on the grants and the charter please visit www.westlancs.gov.uk/business or contact Tracey Shaw, Business Engagement Officer on 01695 712555.