Sheffield City Region bosses are being urged to invest in apprenticeships to steer out of the pandemic downturn and build resilience for the future.
The Source Skills Academy is backing the forthcoming National Apprenticeship Week’s Build The Future motto.
The 14th annual celebration of apprenticeships runs from Feb 8-15 and will push the message that apprenticeships not only help individuals build careers, they also strengthen businesses.
The Source, which has not-for-profit charitable status, has had over 2,220 applications from would-be apprentices since April 2020 but needs far more roles for them to apply for.
“There’s huge demand – from young education-leavers looking for their first job and older people made jobless in the pandemic,” said Dale Robinson, The Source’s director of business development.
“We urge businesses to provide more vacancies. They will benefit massively from taking them on.
“There is government financial support available and businesses we work with constantly tell us their apprentices helped them adapt in 2020 and are crucial to their plans for 2021,” said Dale Robinson.
The Source successfully placed over 200 apprentices in the last 12 months.
Said Dale: “We have supplied apprentices to sectors growing in the pandemic, such as logistics and warehousing companies and health and social care providers.
“Conversely, we’ve supplied apprentices to sectors badly hit. Retailers who have refocused to trade mainly online have taken on Digital Marketing and IT apprentices, which are now our most sight-after courses.
“Their apprentices are helping them boost online sales and promoting their goods via social media, making the difference between survival or closure.”
Business Admin apprentices from The Source have helped Sheffield business Medical and Legal Admin Services meet rising demand during the pandemic.
MLAS works with expert witnesses whose professional opinions are relied on in civil and criminal court cases.
Based at Ecclesfield’s Hydra Business Park, MLAS finds the right expert to fit a lawyer’s brief and ensures their report is accurate and on time.
The company began recruiting apprentices in 2019 and, as planned, set on five more in 2020, taking its staff to 25.
MLAS Director Colette Benn said: “Our apprentices have definitely strengthened the team during the pandemic.
Their flexibility and willingness to turn their hand to new things has provided us with another, incredibly useful layer of support.
“We have been able to plug gaps with them and they have been invaluable in helping us keep up to date with general administrative tasks.
“Some had barely any time in our office before working from home rules began, but adapted brilliantly. They have been extremely resilient.
“Everything has to be done right first-time in our business; what is so crucial to the success of our apprenticeships strategy is the fact that The Source understands our apprentices must be the creme de la creme – people with a great work ethic and good qualifications.”
To offer an apprenticeship place, contact Kerry Cook at The Source on 07584 391445/ firstname.lastname@example.org