STAFF at Tameside Council are helping dozens of young people take their first steps on the career ladder, as part of their ongoing commitment to apprenticeships.
The council has teams of apprentices working in departments across the council, learning skills that include plastering and car maintenance, child care to office skills.
And on Friday they joined with MPs Jonathan Reynolds and Andrew Gwynne and council leader Cllr Kieran Quinn to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week.
Apprenticeships schemes offer young people the chance to learn on the job rather than in the classroom, to build up knowledge and qualifications – at the same time as earning money.
And National Apprenticeship Week is an opportunity to highlight the opportunities offered by apprenticeship schemes and celebrate the achievements of apprentices.
Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds would like further steps to be taken at government level to increase the number of apprenticeships.
Following the event to celebrate the contribution made by apprentices at Tameside Council, Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds said: “Apprenticeships are a rewarding and successful way for young people to develop trades, skills and knowledge in the real life environment of the workplace.
“Tameside Council already has a number of apprentices who are learning practical and administrative skills across the broad range of council departments – and I am proud that the council is taking this approach, which is making a real difference to the lives of many people in our area.
“Locally there are a significant number of employers who invest in apprentices and value the work that they do. But across the country we need to ensure there are more apprenticeships for young people leaving school.
“If we are to build a strong economy we need to take steps such as this to invest in the future of our young people. And I would like further steps taken so that public procurement contracts across the country could be used to increase the number of apprenticeships on offer.”
And Cllr Kieran Quinn, executive leader of Tameside Council, said: “Here in Tameside we have been quietly getting on with creating opportunities for the borough’s young and that’s why we are one of the best performers in Greater Manchester with 700 employers recruiting Tameside residents for apprenticeships.
“This hasn’t happened by chance, it’s as a result of hours and hours of dedicated support by the Council and its partners in the public and private sector.
“Annual apprenticeship fairs where we bring employers and young people together and the annual apprenticeship Pride awards where we celebrate the borough’s apprentices are just two reasons why we are, and intend to stay, at the top when it comes to supporting our youth through these uncertain times.
“I never tire of telling people about the importance Tameside Council attaches to apprenticeships. My colleagues and I see them as an excellent opportunity to enable a young person to continue their learning whilst developing new skills in a career with real prospects.”
Meanwhile 500 apprentices have been employed as part of the GM Commitment to tackling youth unemployment.
The GM Commitment is a joint initiative between the 10 local authorities across Greater Manchester to tackle youth unemployment and invest in the skills of the future.
Supported and funded through the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, it encouraged employers to support young people by recruiting a young person, offering a work experience placement or volunteering as a mentor.
More information about the GM Commitment can be found atwww.gmcommitment.com
Published 13 March, 2013.