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Prime Minister David Cameron backs ‘great’Suffolk 500 apprenticeships campaign

PUBLISHED: 06:00 23 February 2016

The launch of the Suffolk 500 apprenticeships campaign.

The launch of the Suffolk 500 apprenticeships campaign.

A “great” campaign to introduce 500 apprentices into the workplace across Suffolk in 100 days has been given a boost by the Prime Minister.

Suffolk 500, which is nearing its goal, was described by David Cameron as a “great initiative”.

“The Suffolk 500 campaign is a great initiative. Of course, creating 500 new apprenticeships in just 100 days is an ambitious target, but excellent progress has been made and I really hope it is one that the businesses of Suffolk can reach.” he said.

“Since I became Prime Minister in 2010, there has been a huge increase in the number of apprenticeships in Suffolk – and indeed nationwide – but it’s a trend that must continue. More people given the chance to learn a trade and embark on a fulfilling, long-term career, is exactly what I want to see in Suffolk and across our country.”

The aim of Suffolk 500 is to promote all-age apprenticeships to Suffolk employers, highlighting why supporting an apprenticeship is easier than businesses may think, and to celebrate the range of apprenticeships available in different sectors.

It is being managed by the Apprenticeships Suffolk Business Service (ASBS) and delivered in partnership with The Consultancy Home Counties (TCHC), a company which uses Government-funded training and support programmes to deliver free and impartial advice to businesses in the East of England, and Suffolk Chamber of Commerce on behalf of Suffolk County Council.

It is also encouraging employers to consider putting existing staff through an apprenticeship program that will enhance their workplace skills.

“It is great news for the campaign, for local businesses and for new apprentices to hear that the Prime Minister is supporting Suffolk 500.” said Suffolk Chamber chief executive John Dugmore.

“Firms big and small have been working hard to get involved and are finding that apprentices are making a real difference to what they do. I hope that words of support from David Cameron will encourage many more to take part.

Dale Morgan, chief executive officer at TCHC, said the work being done by TCHC and Suffolk Chamber of Commerce was making “a real difference” to businesses and communities across Suffolk.

“The new Adult Apprenticeships and Advanced Apprenticeships standards are a great way to ‘earn while you learn’, which often enables a healthy work-life balance whilst enhancing further career prospects,” he said.

“The Apprenticeship Suffolk Business Service (ASBS) will continue to support, encourage and inspire Suffolk businesses and the talented individuals taking on these exciting apprenticeship opportunities. I sincerely hope that organisations not yet involved with us at ASBS will consider the value of taking on an apprentice in 2016 and get in touch.

Suffolk County Council Leader Colin Noble said a lot of hard work had gone into the success of the campaign, and its chief executive, Deborah Cadman, said that the encouragement from the Prime Minister was very welcome.

“We are committed as an authority to play our part in building a strong and robust local economy. Placing the right apprentices in the right firms is a key foundation of that commitment. This successful campaign makes a real difference to young people and businesses across out county,” she said.

“Nationwide, we are committed to supporting 3million quality apprenticeships over the next five years.” Prime Minister David Cameron also said about the Suffolk 500 campaign.

“Not only will this offer a brighter future for those new apprentices, but it will help provide the skills our employers need and strengthen our whole economy.”

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