A council scheme has given young apprentices, Matthew Steele and Lucas Stenhouse, extra bounce, with a job at local company Hanson Springs in the pipeline.
'Scheme offers £1,000 to apprentices and employers on completion of course'
Matthew and Lucas are 2 of 17 apprentices to have taken advantage of the council's new Apprenticeships Progression Grant. The scheme encourages young people to move onto advanced and higher/degree level apprenticeships by giving £1,000 to both the young person and their employer at the end of the course.
The move means that more local young people can progress to higher level apprenticeships, the equivalent of a foundation degree, which will mean a better chance of getting a job at the end of their course.
Matthew,17, from Shawclough, who has been studying for his apprenticeship at local training provider, Rochdale Training Association, said: "It's good to have an incentive like this. It gives you that extra push. I'm planning to use the £1,000 to buy a car, which will help me get to and from work."
Director at Hanson Springs, John Hanson, said: "We think this is a great scheme. We work with lots of apprentices, because many of our employees are in their 40s and 50s and we need to pass their skills onto the next generation.
"We're a growing company, with 230 employees, which we're looking to boost to 250 in the next few years, and apprentices will play a key role in this growth. This scheme makes a difference to us, but it will have an even bigger impact on smaller companies with 20-odd employees, who will need financial support to invest in long-term apprenticeships."
'17 apprentices and 11 employers benefitting so far'
17 apprentices and 11 employers have already enrolled on the scheme, which targets sectors with a skills shortage, including engineering and higher level manufacturing. Other well-known local companies, including TBA Textiles, also have apprentices on the scheme.
Councillor Richard Farnell, leader of the council, said: "If our young people want to get anywhere in the world of work, it's essential they have the right qualifications. A long-term apprenticeship is a big investment for the young person and the company, so we wanted to step in and give them a helping hand. With support from the council, our talented young people and great local companies can make Rochdale a major centre for employment once again."
To find out more about the grant visit recruitment services for businesses
More information on apprenticeships available locally