Challenge is laid down: 100 new apprenticeships in as many days

MP Stephen Lloyd with Barry Frost, apprentice pastry chef at the Burlington Hotel, and Melanie Hunt, principal and chief executive of Sussex Downs College
MP Stephen Lloyd with Barry Frost, apprentice pastry chef at the Burlington Hotel, and Melanie Hunt, principal and chief executive of Sussex Downs College

EASTBOURNE MP Stephen Lloyd and the Eastbourne Herald have teamed up to launch a 100 New Apprentices in 100 Days Challenge.

The aim of the project, which is in partnership with the National Apprenticeships Service, is to get 100 apprenticeships for trainees living in and around Eastbourne within 100 days before August 28.

The initiative will be launched at Eastbourne Town Hall on May 20 at 10.30am and all employers, large and small, whether they’ve employed apprenticeships before or not are invited to attend.

The launch will include contributions from employers about their positive experience employing apprentices, as well as employees who started as apprentices.

All the local training providers who are taking part in the challenge will also be present to speak to employers about the apprenticeships they cater for, as well as representatives from the National Apprenticeship Service to explain how the challenge will work.

Mr Lloyd said, “Apprenticeships not only create more jobs, but provide young people with a career and opportunities they may not otherwise have had.

“Over the past 12 months I have had a number of discussions with the National Apprenticeship Service and Government Ministers from the Department of Business Innovation and Skills, to tell them that I want Eastbourne to be at the vanguard in providing more opportunities for our local business and young people – and this challenge exactly fits that vision I have for our town.

“Right from the beginning when I was elected, my priority has been to transform the local economy and I have been working hard with the MPs Commission, which includes representatives from the local Chamber of Commerce, Eastbourne Hospitality Association, the Borough Council, the Federation of Small Businesses and a number of prominent local businesses to ensure our economy continues to grow and Eastbourne keeps bucking the national trend.

“This challenge is the latest example of how we’re trying to achieve our objective and while it seems a tall order, I know we can do it.”

Rachel McKellar, National Apprenticeship Service director, said, “Eastbourne employers have reaped the benefit of apprentices for many years but we are keen to increase the number of apprenticeship places offered to young people in particular.

“It can be hard to get that first job, an apprenticeship offers the chance to learn a skill from scratch and gain a qualification.”

Many employers are still under the myth that apprentices only work in traditional trades, but there are over 200 different job roles offered as Apprenticeships including marketing, business administration and customer service.

These are skills that every business needs to grow and prosper, and in an increasingly competitive world, no business can afford not to invest in skills training and Apprenticeships are one of the very best and most cost-effective ways for employers to grow their own talent.”

Gavin Smith, employer services director for the National Apprenticeship Service, added, “Stephen’s initiative is really important to stimulate demand for Apprenticeships in the Eastbourne area.

“Apprenticeships bring a number of benefits to a business; they can reduce recruitment costs, reduce staff turnover, and improve motivation and productivity.

“Statistics show that 88 per cent of employers who employ apprentices believe that Apprenticeships lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce.

“It also ensures your business has the skilled workers it needs for the future and 83 per cent of employers rely on the Apprenticeship programme for this.”