Shoppers hitting the high street could bag themselves an apprenticeship after the Apprenticeship Drop-in Centre was officially opened. The shop, based in Market Hall on Union Street, is a joint venture backed by Wakefield College and Wakefield Council.
Staff from the College will be on hand to welcome visitors to the new centre which promises to be a one-stop shop for people to find out how apprenticeships work, discuss their options and get help with CV writing and job applications. Visitors will also be able to access current apprenticeship vacancies across the district and apply directly for any jobs currently on offer.
The idea of the shop came from Dan Conboy, Chair of Cognitiv, an industry-led group which aims to put the spotlight on the District’s creative, digital and IT sectors. Dan saw a similar shop in Manchester and suggested a set up like it would work well in Wakefield. After consulting with senior colleagues in the Council and College, a suitable location was identified.
Dan welcomed the new shop in the heart of the City. He said: “We are big supporters of apprenticeships, so I think that the expansion of Wakefield College’s promotion of their apprenticeship opportunities is great for both Wakefield’s young people and businesses across the district.”
Apprenticeships continue to become an increasingly popular route for more people as the Government pledges to create 3 million apprenticeships by 2020. Wakefield itself saw a 12% increase in new apprentice starts with 3,700 now on the scheme, with Wakefield College being the largest provider of apprenticeships in the District.
Wakefield College Principal, Sam Wright was joined by Dan Conboy, Joanne Roney, Mike Denby and Councillor Peter Box to cut the ribbon marking the official opening of the centre.
Wakefield College Principal Sam Wright said: “Apprenticeships are becoming an increasingly popular way for people of all ages and abilities to get work experience, earn a wage and gain a recognised qualification all at the same time. Apprenticeships not only benefit individual learners but also help the local economy by helping fill the skills gap. We’re delighted to be working with the Council on this joint initiative and look forward to helping more people start an apprenticeship.”
Cllr Peter Box CBE, leader of Wakefield Council said: “I am very proud of our role in supporting apprenticeships and I hope this new venture with Wakefield College will encourage even more young people to consider taking this route.
“Apprenticeships offer young people the opportunity to learn and develop skills that will help them build their future careers.”
Wakefield Council was recently named as a top 100 employer for apprentices, at a national awards ceremony. It was the only local authority in Yorkshire to receive this recognition.