Suffolk 500 apprenticeships campaign tops target

Stuart Havard, the Apprenticeships Suffolk Business Service's own apprentice.

Stuart Havard, the Apprenticeships Suffolk Business Service's own apprentice. - Credit: Archant

A campaign encouraging Suffolk employers to create 500 additional apprenticeship opportunities has exceeded its target.

A final tally of 531 new apprentice roles – involving 335 different employers – has been declared by organisers of the Suffolk 500 campaign, which was launched by the Apprenticeships Suffolk Business Service (ASBS) in the autumn with a goal of achieving the total within 100 working days.

The campaign aimed to promote the wide range of benefits of apprencticeships, in terms not only of young recruits but also older people and existing members of staff, and received an endorsement from Prime Minister David Cameron.

Dale Morgan, chief executive of TCHC, which managed the project with Suffolk Chamber of Commerce on behalf of Suffolk County Council: said: “This campaign has had a positive impact on Suffolk employers and communities alike. It has been interesting to dispel the myths that apprentices are very young, unskilled and unmanageable.”

Sarah Howard president of Suffolk Chamber, added: “Our members have given their full support to this exciting and ambitious target and to see over 300 employers sign up is an indicator of how firms big and small give their backing to efforts to future proof our local and regional economy.”

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The drive to promote apprenticeships within Suffolk will continue into 2017 and ASBS will be hosting a free employer drop-in event at the Suffolk Chamber offices in Ipswich on Thursday as part of National Apprenticeships Week, which runs until Friday, March 18.

Any employers who wish to discuss how the ASBS or Suffolk Chamber can support them are welcome to attend between 8am and 10am.

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