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Oxford,
21
January
2016
|
12:48
Europe/London

Rise of apprentices boosts thriving Oxfordshire economy

While the number of apprenticeship starts for 16-24 year-olds fell across the South East by 2.5 per cent in 2014/15 compared with the previous academic year, Oxfordshire’s figure rose by 2.4 per cent, as employers took on 2,510 new starters.

The latest Skills Funding Agency data also shows the county ahead of both the South East and national averages for the growth in apprenticeships for those under 19.

Apprenticeship starts, Age 16-24

 

13/14

14/15

% difference

England

275,300

282,800

2.7

South East

39,150

38,190

-2.5

Oxfordshire

2,450

2,510

2.4

 

Apprenticeship starts, Under 19s

 

13/14

14/15

% difference

England

118,200

124,300

5.2

South East

15,850

16,190

2.1

Oxfordshire

1,120

1,180

5.4

(All data rounded to nearest 10)

Promoting apprenticeships in Oxfordshire

A commitment to creating more apprenticeship positions across Oxfordshire was included in the recent City Deal agreement, which provides funding for the Oxfordshire Apprenticeships programme.

The council’s Cabinet Member for Business and Customer Services Nick Carter said: “We’ve seen a real focus here in Oxfordshire on thinking about the skills needed both for young people to succeed and for businesses and other employers to build the workforce they need to thrive. The council has been part of that process both in its work to support the growth of our local economy and as an employer, offering a range of apprenticeship opportunities across its services.”

He added: “Quite simply, apprenticeships are proving to be an excellent option for our county’s young people and these figures are testament to the success of the Oxfordshire Apprenticeships scheme and everyone who has helped to bang the drum for apprenticeships. The Oxfordshire business community deserves particular credit for helping create new opportunities right across the board.”

Adam Barrett, who recently completed a civil engineering apprenticeship at the county council said: “Apprenticeships enable individuals to create a work ethic based on personal experience in a true working environment that increases opportunities and opens doors. It was the best choice for me as it provided a good balance of work and education that was manageable, challenging and above all, interesting.”

Hands-on experience

Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Families Melinda Tilley said: “Young people are increasingly seeing that the traditional pathway through A-Levels and university is not the only route to success, and the way in which apprentices are able to learn while gaining hands-on experience is hugely valued by employers.

“With national legislation now requiring young people to stay in some form of education or training until the age of 18 the apprenticeship option is something well worth considering.”

Find out more

Anyone interested in finding out more about apprenticeships should visit www.oxfordshireapprenticeships.co.uk

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