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‘Building the Future’ is the theme of this year’s National Apprenticeship week (8 – 14 February).

It aims to encourage business owners to consider how apprenticeships help individuals to build the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career – and to build a workforce with future ready skills.

Hambleton District Council has run a successful apprentice wage subsidy scheme for the past eight years – helping more than 200 businesses.   The scheme provides grant aid to small local businesses creating new opportunities for 16 to 24 year olds living in the district – those helped so far include apprentices in accounting, digital marketing, construction, administration, and the motor trade.

Twenty-three year old Hope King – who is working as a Customer Service Apprentice at HFC Systems, a computer and support services company based in Stokesley, is the scheme’s latest success.

“As a business, we have had success with apprenticeship programmes in the past, and so when a need for a new team member presented itself, it made sense to look to the scheme again,” said Steven Booth, Managing Director.

“Hope started her apprenticeship with us in September 2020 after a period of unemployment brought about by the pandemic. An experienced worker with an interest in the technology industry made her an ideal candidate for the role and gave her the facility to be able to learn while earning.

“Hope has quickly become a vital and integral part of our team. In a traditionally male dominated industry, she has brought a quality calibre of self-motivated work to the business. She has quickly adapted to life within the technology industry and is expanding her knowledge of products and services daily, as well as offering a high level of services to customers both big and small.

“The apprenticeship scheme has given us the facility to grow as a company, and to create employment and learning opportunities within the area.”

As part of this national week the district council  is urging local businesses to consider taking on an apprentice through its scheme  – it offers  a grant of £2,000 to support small businesses that have been trading for at least three months, with priority given to those that employ less than 20 employees. The apprenticeship role must be for at least one year with the apprentice working for at least 30 hours per week.

  • The Government offer an Incentive Payments to Businesses hiring a new apprentice to help organisations offer new apprenticeships. Employers who hire a new apprentice between 1 August 2020 and 31 March 2021 can apply to the Government.

For more information on the scheme – and for help and advice – check out hambleton.gov.uk or contact Roz Caligari on Roz.caligari@hambleton.gov.uk or 01609 767058.

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