Lee Pryor, Director of Apprenticeships at Luminate Education Group

Luminate Education Group (@LuminateEdGroup), one of the largest apprenticeship providers in the West Yorkshire region, has exceeded its target of placing 100 apprentices in 100 days, securing a further 50 apprenticeships within three days of the deadline.

The group, which consists of Leeds City College, Keighley College, Harrogate College and University Centre Leeds launched the campaign last November.

The 100 in 100 initiative, which ran until National Apprenticeship Week 2021, was part of the group’s plan to increase the number of apprenticeships across the region, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the regional and national economy. Apprenticeships have been central to the government's objectives of helping people get the skills they need post-Covid, with Chancellor Rishi Sunak pledging up to £3000 until 31 March 2021 to businesses who take on an apprentice. 

Lee Pryor, Director of Apprenticeships at Luminate Education Group, said:

“The pandemic has hit all sectors nationwide. As a result, we have worked collaboratively across the organisation to ensure that the right support has been given to our apprentices and to all employers that have taken on an apprentice. We are delighted with the results of the campaign, which included stakeholder engagement activities, employer and apprentice case studies,  promotional videos, as well as press, digital coverage and ads, which allowed us to reach a wider audience.”

“Apprenticeships are more important than ever in helping businesses to recruit the right people and develop sector specific skills.  The 100 in 100 campaign and this year’s National Apprenticeship Week highlighted the significance of apprenticeships as a way for  businesses to train, retain and develop their workforces as they look to the future. 

“College links with employers, to develop their staff are pivotal to the success of the government’s recent Skills for Work White Paper.”

Lee, said some of the major successes of the campaign included Leeds City College placing 37 Level 2 and 3 healthcare apprentices with Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Keighley College placing 13 health and social care apprentices with Airedale hospital. 

He also highlighted that Harrogate College has seen an increase in their joinery apprenticeship programme in the last 12 months. With the growing demand in the sector, the college went from having one joinery apprentice in 2019, to securing places for more than 10 apprentices to date.

“The group has developed more than 200 apprenticeship programmes over the years, covering everything from health and social care to engineering, business management and banking - right through to the construction industry and we have been lucky to match high volumes of apprentices with the right employer in the last 6-10 months. 

“Apprentices play an instrumental role in bringing new skills and fresh perspectives into the workplace and it is crucial that we continue to drive this agenda, supporting businesses to see the benefits of  taking on an apprentice, which in turn, will contribute to the overall economic growth and productivity in the UK,” he added. 

Lee said that the Business Engagement Team across the group’s member colleges have worked tirelessly supporting local employers in Leeds, Keighley and Harrogate,helping them understand how their organisations benefit from taking on an apprentice. The group also invested in a new labour market intelligence tool over 18 months ago, which has supported this critical work with local employers to better understand skills gaps and widen apprenticeship standards.

“Our aim is to give school and college leavers the chance to secure future employment and a steady career whilst mapping this to employer recruitment and training needs.  Apprenticeships are a great way to achieve this.”

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