Hampshire: Apprentices front and centre of economic recovery

Hitting important milestones, launching a new skills hub and completely redesigning courses to be delivered online – just three of the positive stories from the past year that Hampshire County Council is celebrating this National Apprenticeship Week 2021 (February 8 to 14).

Both corporately and in partnership with Hampshire businesses, the past 12 months have seen apprenticeships transform into a critical part of the Covid-19 economic recovery.

Councillor Patricia Stallard, Hampshire County Council executive lead member for apprenticeships, said: “The theme of this year’s National Apprenticeship Week is ‘Build the Future’ and that is certainly what we are doing within the county council and across Hampshire.

“Apprenticeships are a key element of the county council’s employment and skills strategy for post-pandemic economic recovery, to ensure that we will have people with the skills that employers require to meet local needs. Consequently, we are very excited to launch our ‘Apprenticeships and Skills hub’ this week in the north of the county. The new hub will work with businesses to match unemployed people with apprenticeship opportunities and tackle skill shortages.

“We have also doubled the allocation of levy transfer funds to £2 million to support Hampshire businesses to commit to new apprenticeships, a move that has been particularly welcomed by the care sector.”

Stallard added, “I am happy to report that not only have our school and corporate apprenticeships continued despite the pandemic, at the end of 2020 we surpassed the milestone of 1000 county council apprentices funded by the apprenticeship levy. A year ago, most of our apprenticeship training was delivered face-to-face, but in response to lockdown, we worked with training providers to change to complete online learning. Since then, we have welcomed nearly 200 new starts in 37 different apprenticeships – a fantastic turnaround in a very short time, thanks to the efforts of our staff, managers and services.”

To learn more about apprenticeship transfer opportunities for employers, visit Hampshire Futures