Firms inundated with apprentice applications

A total of 1,180 people are competing for over 100 places on a new city council-funded apprentice scheme in Liverpool.

The posts available cover a wide range of professions including, joiners, electricians and computer technicians through to accounts clerks and hospitality staff.

Firms taking part include housing association, Plus Dane Group, which is taking on 14 people in areas such as business support, customer service and project support. North Liverpool Regeneration Company has agreed to take on 10 people and train them in joinery, brick laying and construction. The 60 Hope Street restaurant is taking on five people in catering and hospitality.

Cllr Nick Small, the council's cabinet member for employment and skills, said: "We have been absolutely deluged with applications and literally bowled over by the response.

"It shows how vital this scheme is, and how important it is to increase the number of apprenticeships across the city.

"At a time when cuts in funding are being made across the board it is really important that we support our young people in gaining the skills they need to obtain employment.

"We want to have a highly-skilled and motivated workforce ready to take advantage of any improvement in the economy in future years."

The apprenticeships range from 12 months to three years and the scheme is being funded by £300,000 from the city council.

A one-off payment of up to £3,000 per recruit is paid on condition that the apprentices are from Liverpool and aged 16 and over.

The business grant scheme is particularly supporting employers which help fill recognised skills gaps or target potential areas for economic growth in the city such as the Superport, low carbon economy/environmental related work and the knowledge and visitor economies.

The successful applicants will be chosen during Assessment Days in National Apprentice Week from 7 – 11 February 2011, when the city council will also be holding a range of events to encourage firms to take on apprentices.

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