'Why apprentices are good for Bay businesses'

Portrait of college official

Emily Tucker - Credit: South Devon College

South Devon College is promoting the value and importance of apprenticeships after a government funding boost. 

The Department for Education published a white paper in January which detailed how skills will be at the heart of driving the economy’s recovery Covid19 and to meet the needs of the UK following Brexit.  

The main focus was on vocational and technical qualifications and apprenticeships with lifelong education and skills-based training at the heart of the plans for that recovery. 

There was a call for ‘strong and seamless’ partnerships between colleges delivering skills-based training and industry. 

Chancellor, Rishi Sunak emphasised the direction of travel in his recent budget with investment in apprenticeships and associated training initiatives. 

Sunak pledged £126 million to be invested in traineeships, tripling the number of opportunities available for young people. Traineeships are a course with a work placement, providing a good foundation for those considering moving on to an apprenticeship.  

He also announced that incentives for hiring apprentices aged above 25 will be doubled to £3,000. 

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Emily Tucker, Head of Apprenticeships and Employer Engagement, at South Devon College, said: “This is both a fantastic opportunity for adults to up or reskill, and for businesses to take on more apprentices and in turn increase productivity at a lower cost to the business. 

“To further support young people in gaining apprenticeships, an additional £1,000 incentive is available to businesses that hire apprentices aged between 16 and 18. 

“The pandemic has presented a lot of challenges for us all, but young people have been hit hard when it comes to education and employability. However, this extra incentive is going to develop more opportunities that young people need to set themselves up for their future.” 

The college has a long history of success and continuous year on year growth in these programmes. Emily said: “With this, the College is a fantastic source of support for employers and apprentices. It is what we and our employer partners have been very successful in, and we look forward to providing more opportunity, support and growth in the South West.” 

If you are an employer and keen to learn more about how you can access these opportunities, the college Apprenticeship and Employer Engagement Team can be found by visiting southdevon.ac.uk/apprenticeships or by calling 08000 380 123 (Option 3) or emailing employers@southdevon.ac.uk