The number of local businesses growing and developing thanks to apprenticeships is increasing fast. This signals a positive step-change for the Norfolk economy and a change of mindset for many people, who may have once thought that apprenticeships were only for school leavers. Many businesses don’t appreciate the huge range of sectors covered by apprenticeships, nor that anyone aged over 16 can become an apprentice. Apprenticeships are a good way to help businesses diversify by teaching existing staff new skills. They can also be a way to recruit new people.
Mike Deal owns Norfolk microbusiness, Wildcraft Brewery. He recently progressed an Assistant Brewer Kickstarter onto an apprenticeship in Food & Drink Processing. Mike said: “Apprenticeships Norfolk helped so much. I’m not a paperwork person, and I wouldn’t have had a clue what to do at any stage. They guided us through everything. The apprentice assessor visits us frequently to see how Ben is getting on. I was worried the assessors would just come in and want to see Ben’s coursework, but they’ve really been getting involved. They’ve shown the guys how to apply the things they learn on the course, to what they are doing every day, which is exactly what I hoped the apprenticeship would be.”
The INSIGHT apprentice project
Apprenticeships Norfolk is taking its invaluable help and support one step further, with the new INSIGHT Apprentice project, specifically for businesses that need more in-depth help and support to implement an apprenticeship.
The INSIGHT project (part-funded by the European Social Fund) focuses on helping organisations with fewer than 250 employees, who work in advanced engineering and manufacturing, agri-tech, clean energy and digital/ICT sectors, plus voluntary organisations in the social economy. If you have diversified or grown your business and need help with retraining or recruiting staff due to the pandemic, the project can also support you, regardless of the industry sector.
Businesses who are accepted onto the scheme receive the support of a Business Development Officer, who helps them with the entire process. They will help identify the apprenticeship requirements and find the right programme. They will save your business time by working with all the different training providers/colleges to find the best match for your organisation. And you’ll also be able to advertise any apprenticeship vacancy for free.
In addition, the team helps you to access apprenticeship funding, grants and support services.
Support from INSIGHT Apprentice costs nothing and could help your business upskill existing staff, or grow by hiring someone who will bring new knowledge and skills to your team.
The INSIGHT Apprentice project is a collaborative venture between lead partner Norfolk County Council and the College of West Anglia, East Coast College, Steadfast Training, Poultec Training, City College Norwich and the Norfolk Chambers of Commerce. Contact us to find out what the project could offer your company.