Burnley apprenticeships vital to local economy

Burnley is doing its bit to mark National Apprenticeship Week.

Wednesday, 6th March 2019, 8:57 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th March 2019, 10:03 am
Some of the council staff taking part in apprenticeship schemes, with Burnley Council chief executive Mick Cartledge (back left)

Since May 2017 employers with pay bills in excess of £3m. per year have been required to pay an apprenticeship levy which funds the training costs for apprenticeships.

Burnley Borough Council is required to make an annual payment of approximately £18,000.

Council leader Coun. Mark Townsend said: “Encouraging and supporting the development of our young people in the workplace is vital for the future of our local economy. We need to nurture these young people and provide a fertile environment so that they can develop their skills and make the most of their potential.”

Since the changes to funding were introduced the council has continued its commitment to provide apprentice posts in its workforce, also encouraging existing employees to take up the opportunities the new funding arrangements offer for higher level apprenticeships.

The Government requires that public sector organisations aim to have at least 2.3% of their workforce in apprenticeships. Burnley Council’s current level is 8.25%, which has risen from 3.2% over the past 12 months.

This year’s Burnley Business Awards, which is organised by the council, also has a dedicated Apprenticeship Scheme of the Year award to acknowledge the positive impact these schemes have on individuals, local businesses, and the local economy.

Kate Ingram, strategic head of the council’s economy and growth unit, said: “Many young people are now opting for the apprenticeship route rather than going to university.

"Burnley has a great selection of apprenticeship providers, including UCLan, Burnley College, Themis and Project Digital, delivering a range of industry-based apprenticeships and the recently launched degree level apprenticeship schemes.

"The Digital Degree Apprenticeship enables young people to get a degree whilst gaining real work experience and getting paid. Apprenticeships have proved to be a great asset to upskilling our businesses.”