Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Apprentice Recruits Are the Top Priority; Lynn Tomkins, Pictured below, the UK Operations Director of Semta, the Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies, Explains Why It Is Backing 100 Days: The Apprenticeship Challenge

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Apprentice Recruits Are the Top Priority; Lynn Tomkins, Pictured below, the UK Operations Director of Semta, the Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies, Explains Why It Is Backing 100 Days: The Apprenticeship Challenge

Article excerpt

Byline: Lynn Tomkins

THERE is nothing more important in the current economic climate for science, engineering and manufacturing companies than the recruitment of apprentices. Technical skills are scarce and are getting more difficult and expensive to hire with UK recruitment demand hitting 82,000 over the next five years to cover the number of retirements and meet the anticipated economic growth. Fantastic recent news from Nissan is a reminder of how this sector can really help to drive the economy forward. We need to take this as a sign of confidence and capitalise on the opportunities it can bring to the supply chain and beyond.

Semta already works with champion employers in the region, large and small, who currently take on an apprentice, but we recognise there is more to do. We need to get the word out that everybody should be investing.

Our North-east regional council has set itself an ambition to grow the number of companies who take on apprentices 10% year on year - so to double the amount by 2016. It's a huge ambition, but we do believe that with everybody taking part and promoting it we can succeed. This campaign will help highlight the opportunities available to young people to earn while they learn in careers with long-term prospects and show companies there are incentives and benefits in taking on apprentices.

The traditional image of oil-covered men in boilersuits is a far cry from the reality of working in some of the most advanced sectors in the world. The Semta Apprenticeship Service - which is a not-for-profit organisation - last year managed the training of more than 500 learners, predominately aged 16 to 18. In the latest Ofsted report just published it was described as being outstanding in meeting the needs of employers and providing outstanding value for money.

Employers valued the high level of skills that apprentices acquire and the high standard of recruitment, training and assessment services provided. …

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