Hopes to boost number of teens on apprenticeships in Notts
A GROUP which tackles youth unemployment is celebrating after receiving a prestigious national award which could see up to 50 more apprenticeships created in Notts.
Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Futures, based in Sherwood Rise, has become one of only a handful of organisations across the region to achieve Apprentice Agency Status.
The accreditation is from the National Apprenticeships Service and recognises high standards provided to businesses and to young people.
It also means employers working with the Futures Apprenticeship Agency – the section of the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Futures which deals with apprenticeships – can now get funding from the Government for taking on apprentices. Stephen Radford, 18, is one of the success stories of Futures.
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He started his apprenticeship with IT company Layer 3 at the Nottingham Science Park, in University Boulevard, in July.
Stephen, of Sherwood, said: "I am enjoying my apprenticeship so much – I much prefer learning in a working environment, rather than in a classroom.
"I spoke to a careers adviser from Futures about my options and they helped me to make the right career decision for me. They helped me to find out what my options were and with all the research before I made any decisions.
"I have no regrets about becoming an apprentice, you gain hands-on experience and it's the best way to learn.
"Also, I will come out with good qualifications and there are no expensive debts like with a university course."
The Futures Apprenticeship Agency was set up last year to give young people the chance to develop practical skills, achieve nationally recognised qualifications and earn while they learn.
Matt Smart, apprenticeships manager at Futures, said getting the new status could have a wider impact on the local economy.
He said: "We're delighted to receive the award, which is recognition of all the hard work we have put in to providing young people with more opportunities and local companies with apprentices to boost their businesses.
"However, the award could also have wider implications for the local economy too.
"The fact that employers and training providers who work with us can receive Government money can only be positive for firms in the current difficult financial climate.
Apprenticeships are principally aimed at 16-19-year-olds, but there are opportunities available for 19-24-year-olds and over-24-year-olds.
Businesses or young people who would like more information about the agency can visit www.futuresnn.co.uk, e-mail: askfuturesnn.co.uk or call 0115 910 1597.