Meeting Young Apprentices
Today I met with Zara Carter, Head of Procurement at City of York Council, and two of the young apprentices who have benefited from the York Apprentice Challenge which was launched in June last year to encourage companies in York to recruit 100 new apprentices in 100 days.
The York Apprentice Challenge has since taken off, with employers in York stepping up to the challenge by not only comfortably passing the target by September, but almost doubling it with 199 apprenticeships now pledged in the city. Some 80 employers in York, including the council, are taking on young people as apprentices in many fields including accountancy, retail and construction.
Two of the apprentices I met, Adam Hardy and Chris Barett, are based in the council’s procurement team where they are managed by Zara Carter. They are completing the Foundation Apprenticeship in Purchasing and Supply Management. Other apprentices working for the council are completing NVQ level 2 qualifications, with some completing the higher level 3 and/or the European Computer Driving Licence.
It was great to see Adam and Chris working hard to gain their NVQs in Supply Chain Management, gaining new skills and experience. Youth unemployment recently hit an all time high, although York is doing better than most places. Employers need staff with practical skills and confidence in the work place, and apprenticeships are a great way of achieving this. It is a win-win situation for young people and their employers. I hope more York companies will come forward to offer apprenticeships.