A new scheme encouraging businesses in Wigan Borough to provide training and employment opportunities for young people has launched.
Earlier this year, the leader of Wigan Council, Councillor David Molyneux, pledged funding that would help local businesses to create apprenticeship vacancies for Wigan Borough residents aged between 16 and 24 years old.
The 2018 Apprenticeship for Young People Programme is for any business with a base in Wigan Borough that is looking to recruit young apprentices, particularly in a skilled trade or profession such as engineering, construction, manufacturing or digital.
The fund will also help young people in care, those not in employment, education or training and people with special educational needs to access apprenticeship opportunities and will also support businesses to pay the National Minimum Wage, as opposed to the lower National Minimum Apprenticeship Wage.
Speaking about the new programme, Councillor David Molyneux said: “Providing opportunities for young people borough-wide is a key priority for the council and is something I’m passionate about supporting and implementing.
“We are keen to work with businesses that have a base in Wigan Borough and that are interested in harnessing the skills of local young people.
“Young people are our future and in addition to bringing a vibrant, fresh and alternative way of working, it’s important that we mentor them so our borough can grow and thrive.
“We will support any business that wants to be involved with this programme in a number of ways, including financial grants that will go toward the development of the apprentice and their training.
“The programme comes at the perfect time as many young people will soon be receiving their A-level or GCSE results and will be thinking about their next steps, so it’s in the interest of local businesses to find out how we can support them to bring new talent into their company.”
In exchange for ongoing support and a grant between £2,000 and £5,000, businesses that engage with the programme will be expected to support the council’s Deal for Business initiative, meet the cost of the apprentice’s wages and provide genuine development opportunities so young people can gain the knowledge and skills needed in the working world.
The programme is flexible, with Level 2 or Level 3 apprenticeship placements lasting between twelve months and four years.
The programme will also link with the current Greater Manchester apprenticeships hubs, which bring together partners from across the area to work together in order to increase the scale, breadth and quality of apprenticeships across Greater Manchester.
If you have a business based in Wigan Borough and would like more information, please contact the Invest in Wigan team on 01942 489 190 for an initial appointment.