New agency to match young talent to city’s businesses

A unique new agency launches this week that will create hundreds of careers for young people by giving the city’s businesses an affordable and low risk new route to recruit the skills they need.

The Apprenticeship Training Agency (ATA) will act as the broker matching talented, focused young apprentices with local businesses who want to skill and grow their workforce.

The agency, an independent company jointly owned by Leeds City Council and Leeds City College, showcases the new approach Leeds is taking to creating jobs and developing talent and skills that the city’s businesses need for growth.

The council and college have worked closely with the city’s businesses and the Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce to develop the ATA model. The agency will work with businesses to identify their skills needs, then advertise and recruit talented, focused apprentices - removing some of the risks and barriers which have discouraged many of the city’s smaller businesses from creating apprentice opportunities in the past.

The ATA will link with the emerging Leeds Apprenticeship Hub developed under the Leeds City Region City Deal Skills Programme to support business growth through investment in skills.

The ATA launch will be hosted at Law Firm Cobbetts on Thursday 29th November at its offices at No 1 Whitehall, where invited members of the city’s business community will hear more about how the agency can help them.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council said:

“All the evidence shows that public spending on apprenticeships produces an excellent economic return – every £1 spent on apprenticeships, delivers a £16-£21 return. As it is SMEs that will drive our local and regional economy forward, it makes sense for SMEs to reap the rewards of taking on talented, enthusiastic apprentices. The ATA will help make that a reality.

“While there is no doubt that employers benefit from apprenticeships, it is also those very same opportunities that will help us tackle the persistent challenge of youth unemployment.

“We demanded these devolved powers from Government because we recognise the importance, for both our economy and our young people, of being able to pursue priorities like the ATA. I hope as a result we will soon see many more talented young people making a valuable contribution to local businesses through apprenticeships. ”

Businesses interested in an apprentice can contact the Leeds Apprenticeship Training Agency on 0113 220 6370 or email info@ATALeeds.co.uk. Young people looking for an apprenticeship can visit www.apprenticeships.org.uk

Notes to editors:

The ATA is a company limited by guarantee and jointly owned by Leeds City Council and Leeds City College.


For media enquiries, please contact;

Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450

Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk