Apprenticeships praised as a great first step to a career

James Rook of Ipswich company Sanctuary Personnel

James Rook of Ipswich company Sanctuary Personnel - Credit: Archant

Ipswich personnel company welcomes new boost for apprenticeships

An Ipswich Waterfront company has welcomed plans by George Osborne to fund an additional 20,000 higher apprenticeship places over the next two years.

Sanctuary Personnel, the specialist social work recruitment agency based at Neptune Marina, has said the plans (which offer an alternative route to traditional university study) are ‘exciting’ and they are looking forward to helping more young people in the area start their careers.

The Chancellor announced in his autumn statement last week that the government would be investing an additional £40m into the new initiative, which would offer an additional 20,000 higher apprenticeship places throughout England. The higher apprenticeships are available to A-level school leavers and existing apprentices, and offer an opportunity to gain a degree-level qualification by combining theoretical learning with practical work experience.

Sanctuary Personnel is a long term supporter of the apprenticeship scheme, and has become one of the largest employers of apprentices in East Anglia.

The firm currently employs 23 apprentices, who are successfully achieving nationally-recognised NVQ qualifications and gaining experience within a busy office environment. Sanctuary believes that apprenticeships are a great start to a career, and many of their former apprentices have gained long term career prospects with the company.

James Rook, managing director of Sanctuary Personnel said: “These new plans are really exciting; it is great to see so many different options available for young people to take the first steps onto their career path. I am really pleased to see the government investing further into the apprenticeship programme and recognising that vocational training is just as important as higher education.”

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“I know that for many young people, university is not the best option for them, and this new investment promises to make an equal footing for those who prefer to combine their learning with practical work experience.”

James concluded: “At Sanctuary, we have continually invested in our apprenticeship programme and I am thrilled that we are now one of the largest employers of apprentices in the region. We’ve had some incredible people start their career with us thanks to an apprenticeship and I am delighted that many of them have continued their career with us. I am a firm believer that initiatives like this help give young people a reason to stay in the local area, build their career and support the local economy.”

Sanctuary is planing to recruit a number of apprentices in a variety of departments throughout the business including finance, administration and compliance.