Doncaster Chamber Welcomes New Apprenticeship Hub Service That Will Help South Yorkshire Businesses To Access Fresh Talent
A new initiative has just launched in South Yorkshire, acting as a one-stop-shop for those who are looking to engage with apprenticeships in the region, and Doncaster Chamber has extremely high hopes for the benefits this will deliver to the local business community.
Funded by the Mayoral Combined Authority and the South Yorkshire College Partnership — working alongside the South Yorkshire Provider Network — The Apprenticeship Hub is a freely accessible service that aims to support SMEs in employing apprentices, while also dispelling common myths about this type of training and encouraging people of all ages to see its value.
Among other things, the scheme will assist businesses in making better-informed decisions when it comes to recruiting apprentices, signpost them towards relevant funding opportunities, connect them with the providers that most closely meet their needs, and ultimately help them access a wider pool of talent.
Not to mention, it will also oversee the administration of South Yorkshire’s new Apprenticeship Levy Matchmaking Service. In a nutshell, this will pair SMEs up with larger, levy-paying organisations, so that the former can benefit from the latter’s unspent funds. In turn, this ensures that the smaller businesses can pay for their apprenticeship training and recruitment, and that the levy investment itself remains in South Yorkshire.
Through the cumulative effect of all these different services, the overarching ambition for the hub is that it will deliver a net increase of 300 new apprenticeships within the next two years.
Enthusing about this, Dan Fell, Chief Exec of Doncaster Chamber and Chair of the Apprenticeship Hub, said: “We are very optimistic about what this means for the future of our region, its residents and the broader economy as a whole. The founding of this hub was one of the practical recommendations from our recently-published Local Skills Improvement Plan, and so it is heartening to see that our voice, as well as that of the business community, is being heeded.
“When we were initially putting together that plan, employers — from across all different sectors and of all different sizes — made it clear that they needed more streamlined support in order to help them navigate the complexities of recruiting & then training apprentices. The hub will help to address this very concern, and its creation is also a testament to the value of employer-led initiatives like our LSIP, as well as to the partnership working that we are capable of in this region when we all unite behind a common goal.
“If we can truly invigorate apprenticeship provision and invest in this important area, then I believe that there is a real golden period ahead for South Yorkshire. As new sectors continue to emerge and develop —such as the rapidly growing artificial intelligence market — businesses will need people who are agile and who can bring fresh perspectives to the table, otherwise they risk being left behind. Apprentices can offer the solutions here, and employers owe it to themselves to really think about how they can be utilised within their own organisations.
“It is my sincere belief that our new hub will help to open minds, create opportunities and take South Yorkshire into a more prosperous future. The levy matchmaking service alone is a really innovative intervention, and one that I think will pay off in the long-term: enhancing skills; supporting sustained economic growth; and keeping investment in the region.”
The South Yorkshire Apprenticeship Hub launched on Tuesday the 5th of December, and is funded by the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA).