Warning issued to young job seekers

YOUNG people looking for apprenticeships are being warned to ensure courses are fully accredited.

The warning followed revelations on the BBC’s Panorama programme that some companies had received Government funding but failed to deliver appropriate training or the opportunity of employment.

Richard Brigman, apprenticeships special adviser to Norfolk County Council cabinet, has advised young people looking for apprenticeships to go through the National Apprenticeships Service.

Mr Bridgman said: “A proper apprenticeship is a minimum of three years working alongside somebody skilled who will impart their knowledge on to you.”

“I believe there’s a lot of providers have been making a lot of money without a providing good training – this is something we will look to stop

“I am hopeful to set up an organisation that can oversee apprenticeships.”

West Suffolk College has more than 900 apprentices on programmes including accountancy, child care, and engineering.

Martyn Wagner, vice-principal of business and community at the college, said: “We have a rigorous process the employer has to commit to the programme and the role they will carry out.

“Our policy is to have an employment visit every eight weeks.

“The employers need to be committed to taking on an apprentice because they want to train that individual. It’s an investment for the future.”

Judy Terry, Suffolk County Council portfolio holder for the greenest county, economy and skills, said: “I’m not concerned about the companies in this area offering apprenticeships.

“There is a broad range of businesses in this area looking to recruit the right people.”

Mr Bridgman said: “My concern is that 87 per cent of manufacturing companies do not have apprenticeships we are looking at helping in anyway we can to improve that.”