Coventry College

Coventry is experiencing the beginnings of an apprenticeship recovery, according to the city’s leading further education provider. @coventrycollege

Coventry College - which teaches around 8,000 students - has enrolled nearly 100 apprentices since September, despite the ongoing challenges faced by the region’s businesses due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The construction, plumbing and automotive sectors are driving apprenticeship demand at the College.

It follows the introduction of the government’s Kickstart scheme, where employers receive state funding for taking on 16-to-24-year-olds who are on Universal Credit for a six-month job placement. This includes a £1,500 grant if needed, while each apprentice’s national minimum wage is also paid for by government.

Lorraine Cole is a Team Leader for Sales and Recruitment at Coventry College, and helps to connect employers with the next regeneration of talent. 

She said: “The business community has been in damage limitation mode for quite some time, so to see nearly 100 of our apprentices securing placements in industry over the past three months is a really encouraging sign - and a strong platform to build on.

“The financial aid provided by the government’s Kickstart scheme has undoubtedly helped small businesses to be able to recruit young people, while others are sole traders who have had to carry on working through the pandemic when they’ve been allowed to, and have turned to an apprentice to help them meet demand.

“For example, our motor vehicle apprentices have been assisting their wider industry’s efforts to meet a backlog of demand for MOTs and vehicle servicing, while some plumbers have needed extra resource to respond to more domestic enquiries because more people are now spending more time at home.

“We are also starting to see more companies using the government’s traineeship programme - where they receive a £1,000 payment for each young person they provide work experience to for six months before potentially offering them an apprenticeship.

“At the other end of the employment scale, the government’s latest £2.9 billion Restart scheme for those unemployed for more than a year is also welcome. 

“As a college we have seen a significant uplift in the number of adult learners enrolling with us for the coming year, and we are currently exploring if and how the College can access funding from the latest Restart scheme to support the future prospects of our students.”

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