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A ground-breaking government-backed apprenticeship scheme has been launched at Barnfield College Luton. The Barnfield Apprenticeship Academy Scheme (BAAS) offers a Gold Standard in Public Sector Education Apprenticeships, providing apprentices and employers with a wealth of benefits over and above standard apprenticeship schemes.The scheme was launched at a special ceremony by two government ministers. Lord Young, Minister at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and Lord McKenzie of Luton, welcomed 13 new apprentices into the public sector scheme – by September 24 apprentices will have been appointed among the education consortium partners. The scheme, believed to be the first of its kind in the country, aims to attract 16- 18-year-olds into public sector roles.Pete Birkett, Chief Executive of Barnfield College and Chairman of Barnfield Academies, is the Government’s Chief Advisor on Public Sector Education Apprenticeships.He said: “Given the current economic climate I felt Barnfield needed to take the lead and create a public sector apprenticeship scheme that will ensure young people are equipped with the skills necessary for a sustained career.“Many young people may not consider the Public Sector as a career.  We wanted to show there are many paths to consider within Education.“I am hopeful other colleges up and down the country will follow our example.”

Lord Young said:  In these tough economic times, apprenticeships can continue to play a pivotal role in the economy and they bring new talent and enthusiasm into a workplace.

“Apprentices can help build resilience in a workplace and investing in staff training now will ensure employers see a real return on their investment.

“With the right support these 13 apprentices, and the college, will set a precedent for institutions to provide public sector apprenticeships as a way of offering young people the opportunity to gain the skills they need to get on.”

Scheme partners attending the event at Barnfield College included the University of Bedfordshire, Farley Hill Junior School, Downside Junior School, Lea Manor, Cardinal Newman, John Bunyan and Barnfield South and Barnfield West Academies. 

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