The Department for Education launched a new initiative at the end of November to help people from disadvantaged areas access higher level apprenticeships in sectors such as engineering, manufacturing, construction and ICT.
Four local authorities in England – Portsmouth, Nottingham, South Tyneside and Torbay – have been selected to take part in this new two-year ‘Opportunities Through Apprenticeships’ pilot scheme.
Anne Milton, Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, said:
"We want to increase the number of people taking up apprentices from more disadvantaged areas. This exciting new project will provide people of all ages a great opportunity to do exactly that, especially in growing engineering and ICT sectors.
An apprenticeship gives someone the chance to get new skills, get a better job and get on in a career."
The pilot projects will run until 2020, after which their success will be evaluated and learnings shared across other local authorities.
John Anglin, Lead Member for Regeneration and Economy of the South Tyneside Council, said:
"Apprenticeships allow people to earn-while-they-learn and gain higher level qualifications and mentoring from professionals to gain the necessary skills and experience to forge a career in their chosen field.
Through the pilot we will work with specialist colleges and training providers to make sure that apprenticeships and progression routes are promoted to students, teachers, parents and carers in the Borough.”
Sarah McMillan, Corporate Lead Economic Strategy & Skills of the South Tyneside Council, said: