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Furness College leader urges businesses to act now to benefit from apprenticeship cash boost

Principal and Chief Executive of Furness College Andrew Wren, which is the county’s biggest training and skills provider, welcomed the incentives for employers to take on apprentices through the Plan for Jobs scheme.

“The Government’s new scheme shows a commitment to apprentices at a time when it is much-needed. We know that, due to the pandemic, there is a lot of uncertainty around jobs and there have been warnings nationally of a ‘lost generation’ of apprentices with the latest figures showing the number of apprenticeship starts has dropped year-on-year by nearly 80 per cent.

“However, we think it is a brilliant time to take on an apprentice who can bring fresh-thinking and new ideas to a workplace and we’ve been working with employers, including Coniston Stonecraft who we have supported to employ both a business apprentice and an apprentice stonemaker during lockdown.

“At Furness College, we have a dedicated team of development coaches who work with employers to meet their training needs and can support firms to find the right apprentice who will then go on to earn while they learn and gain a valuable qualification. We train more than 700 apprentices each year in 20 sectors with more than 80 apprenticeships to choose from and that will continue.

“So we don’t think businesses should put this decision on hold. The most forward-thinking businesses will be acting now and can benefit from this additional funding.”

For information about the scheme, please call the business support team on 01229 825017 or email businesssupport@furness.ac.uk.

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