Humber : A £1m employment scheme aiming to plug the region’s skills gap by boosting the number of apprenticeships in the Humber has been launched.
The Humber Apprenticeship Brokerage Service (HABS) matches SMEs and candidates with the most suitable training providers, as part of a drive to increase skills levels and productivity.
The programme is also designed to make things easier for unemployed or inactive candidates who are considering undertaking an apprenticeship for the first time.
Spearheaded by the Humber LEP, its launch comes after a pilot last year which created 157 new jobs in the region. HABS project manager Martin Fitzgerald said: “Apprenticeships boost businesses by plugging their skills gaps and providing a ready supply of motivated, energetic workers eager to learn.
“For the apprentices, they offer a gateway into a world of work by gaining relevant qualifications, experience and confidence as they earn.
“HABS will demystify the process for both employers and candidates alike, brokering introductions and offering straightforward, impartial advice.”
The free programme is funded by the European Social Investment Fund (ESIF) and Skills Funding Agency, and is designed to reduce the barriers SMEs face when employing apprentices while providing information, impartial guidance and support.
HABS acts as a single point of contact that matches employers with apprenticeships providing organisations and 19+ year old learners.
Each employer meets a HABS representative to learn about the funding and recruitment process, with HABS giving prospective apprentices the information they need to make the choices best for them.
Each candidate then receives a list of employers and apprenticeship providers from YH Training services – the organisation appointed to manage the scheme’s delivery.
Isobel Mills, the chairwoman of the Humber ESIF sub-committee and Humber LEP board member, said: “This is a key investment being made through the Humber ESIF programme, providing resources to improve the skills profile of local communities, assisting Humber resident to improve employment opportunities.
“This new programme will work directly with businesses to develop and grow new apprenticeships at all levels.
“It builds on the success of the Humber Apprenticeship Support Service pilot programme and we look forward to working closely with YH Training as the programme progresses.”
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