Leeds ,

Success of Leeds Apprentice Recruitment Fair to be discussed by executive board

Proposals to build on the success of an extremely popular apprenticeship fair held last month in the city are set to be discussed by senior councillors next week.

As part of the report set to be tabled at a meeting of the executive board on Wednesday 20 April, councillors will have the opportunity to consider and assess feedback from members of the public, training providers and employers who attended the Leeds Apprenticeship Recruitment Fair which was hosted for the first time at the first direct arena. Over 5,000 young people and their families were present on the night, which was more than more double the previous highest attendance in the fourth year of the event. This attendance helped the event to be the largest in the Leeds City Region during National Apprenticeship Week.

A record 116 employers featuring leading local, nationally and international leaders in their sector were also out in force. Those present included: Volkswagen, Yorkshire Water, Carillion, Keepmoat, NG Bailey and Addleshaw Goddards, Eversheds and Gordons LLP who were offering diverse and exciting apprenticeship jobs in sectors such as legal and financial services, leisure and tourism, health and social care, engineering and construction, digital, sports, arts, media, and publishing.

The numbers of young people at the apprenticeship fair and the demand from local employers to feature at the event underlined the growing popularity of apprenticeships both in the city and wider Leeds City Region area. Around 220 vacancies are currently being advertised at any one time, with this number continuing to grow as more opportunities are being created at higher levels by employers preparing for the Apprenticeship Levy from March 2017. A levy of 0.5% of paybills will be levied on all employers, through PAYE, with an annual payroll in excess of £3m to fund the training of new apprenticeships.

With employers increasingly seeing apprenticeships as an excellent and attractive way in which to develop talent and personnel, this is leading to new opportunities across subjects as diverse as cyber security, tailoring/cutting, aviation and aerospace, and mechatronics.

In order to ensure that this progress continues, the council through its Apprenticeship Hub will be continuing to work closely with employers on adopting new standards and engaging young people to raise awareness of what apprenticeships have to offer. Support will also be provided regarding the implementation of the Apprenticeship Levy.

Young people wanting to find out more about the Apprenticeship Hub and how to access opportunities in the city, please see:http://www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/Pages/Becominganapprentice.aspx.

Businesses who are interested in advice and guidance on the levy and how they can incorporate apprentices into their workforces please see: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/Business/Pages/Apprenticeships.aspx

Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council’s executive member for employment, enterprise and opportunity said:

“It was really fantastic to see over 5,000 young people, family members and carers present at our latest Leeds Apprenticeship Recruitment Fair last month to find out more about the wide ranging opportunities that are available. The feedback we received from young people and employers at the event was also every positive, and certainly sets a strong base in which to build on.

“The city’s economy is continuing to grow, and I am confident that apprenticeships are offering real opportunities for young people to develop exciting and rewarding careers, often featuring higher level and technical skills, with leading employers. The Apprenticeship Hub is here to help employers and young people make the most of the city’s economic success and increase the number of apprenticeships available, and I hope more people will take the opportunity to find out what is on offer.”

A representative of Appris Management Limited speaking on the Leeds Apprenticeship Recruitment Fair, said:

“What an absolutely amazing event the Leeds Apprenticeship Fair 2016 was. I’ve never seen so many enthused young people gain positive steps to become the future workforce of the region. The event surpassed my expectations massively and was down to some great planning, publicity and marketing by the Leeds Apprenticeship Hub. This is THE event of the year for Yorkshire apprenticeships and I’m looking forward to an even better one in 2017!”

Notes to editors:

Appris Management Limited specialises in the delivery of Engineering Manufacture apprenticeships – with over 150 member companies and 300 plus apprentices across West Yorkshire in the engineering industry.

For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk