Small and medium-sized Croydon companies wanting apprentices can bid for a share of £200,000 from today (Friday) under the council’s long-term drive to get more young people into work.
To mark National Employability Day, the council website has information and application forms so companies can apply to Croydon Council’s Apprenticeship Fund, which last year led to 110 apprentices being recruited in 100 days.
The £200,000 fund is available to fund the costs of training for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that want to develop apprentices’ job skills over a 12-month period using approved apprenticeship standards.
The council especially encourages applications from SMEs whose business benefits the local community and who want to recruit local apprentices from disadvantaged backgrounds, including young people not in employment, education or training. It also gives priority to employers recruiting care leavers, adults with disabilities, people from a BAME background and parents or carers returning to work.
The council-run Croydon Apprenticeship Academy, which includes its in-house jobs brokerage service Croydon Works and external partners and training providers, also offers advice and guidance to employers and their apprentices throughout the course. For information on the process and help with applying, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the council website.
In return, the council asks employers to provide a good-quality apprenticeship; offer a permanent job after 12 months, where possible; and work towards accreditation with the borough’s Good Employer Charter that promotes equality and diversity in the workplace, fair wages and job creation.
Last year the council beat an apprenticeship target of 100 in 100 days, reaching a total of 110 new recruits in that period across a range of employers, including Price Building Services, Axis Europe, PE Global and Croydon Council.
As well as launching the £200,000 fund for SMEs, the council is also marking National Employability Day on Friday with a full day’s online jobs seminar that includes 1-2-1 telephone coaching, information on the council’s award-winning supported employment team and sessions on what it is like to work at major employers including the Metropolitan Police, London Fire Brigade and Govia Thameslink.
“The post-Covid jobs market is looking tough nationwide, especially for young people, so this council is continuing to invest in their futures with more apprenticeship funding for Croydon SMEs.
“I look forward to local firms and young people benefitting from this year’s funding, which builds on our 2019 success in finding jobs for 110 local people in 100 days.”
Councillor Manju Shahul-Hameed, cabinet member for economy and jobs