Apprenticeships New Anglia is an innovative 3 year ESF funded programme starting in January 2020 designed to support small and medium sized employers (SMEs) to proactively recruit the best new talent into their businesses from education.
The project has been developed in response to a trend of reducing uptake of Apprenticeships by 16 to 18s across New Anglia, a lack of suitable funding for training for SMEs to access.
The central aim of the project is to align the timescales for recruitment of apprentices within SME employers with the application timescales for further and higher education as Apprenticeships are real Jobs, these timescales do not often align currently. This results in young people and their parents/carers feeling that choosing an Apprenticeship as a transition choice at the end of education is a high-risk strategy as live opportunities are traditionally advertised from the spring term onwards, some months after choices are made around college, 6th form or university. The project part funds a team of 16 Apprentice Mentors who are apprentices themselves, and will work in schools and in business focussed settings to ensure that a conditional offer of an Apprenticeship is made to young people contemporaneously with offers from FE and HE. The team then works in the intervening period to match young people to employers for a July to September start. An Apprenticeship Training Agency provides a back-stop arrangement should matching be unsuccessful in order that young people who receive conditional offers are not left without an Apprenticeship opportunity.
Employers will be supported by the project to ensure that they can access suitably funded training, in the right place and time to meet the demand, and this includes access to an electronic platform to access levy transfer where necessary. The project staff are managed by a Project Manager who oversees quality across all aspects of the programme, an Apprentice Mentor Manager who line manages the mentors and an Operations Manager responsible for delivery.