1. Video content

    Video caption: Covid apprentices: 'Mum made me redundant'

    Rena Platt was working as an apprentice for her mother in child care - until Covid-19 hit.

  2. Why Dorset teenager opted for apprenticeship instead of university

    Video content

    Video caption: 18 year old Oliver Whyton will gain 'hands on' experience at HeliOperations, Portland.
  3. My Dorset Life: "Most of my family ask 'why are you doing carpet fitting, why don't you do something easy?' "

    Video content

    Video caption: 34 year old Harriet Thew from Stour Provost describes life as a carpet fitting trainee.
  4. College welcomes new grants for firms hiring apprentices

    Furness College in Barrow, which trains more than 700 apprentices every year, has welcomed the government's scheme to help young people find work.

    Until the end of January businesses will be given £2,000 for every new apprentice they take on under the age of 25, and £1,500 for those over 25, in addition to a £1,000 grant they are already getting under another project.

    The principal of the college, Andrew Wren, says the Plan for Jobs offers commitment at a time of uncertainty.

    Furness College
  5. College's apprenticeship opportunities cut in half

    Sara-Jane Watkins

    Apprentices in Gloucestershire are facing a bigger challenge than ever, with the number of placements on offer at one college halved this year.

    Principal of South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, Sara-Jane Watkins, said the lack of opportunities is forcing many students to change their plans.

    “At the start of the new academic year we usually have at least 500 new starts on the apprenticeship programme.

    “At the moment we are expecting half of those due to a lack of employment opportunities. For those young people, everything they have been working towards, their hopes, aspirations and opportunities, have been taken away from them,” she said.

    Many of the apprenticeships have been withdrawn because businesses are struggling financially, but social distancing is also an obstacle.

    Dave Merrett, of Merrett’s Heating Services in Stroud, said they wouldn’t have an apprentice for the first time in eight years.

    “We go into peoples’ houses all the time. They can go into five houses a day and with contamination, wearing masks and extra people in houses - it’s just not viable for us,” he said.

  6. Apprenticeship cash: retraining reform needed

    Quote Message: With a recession looming, these measures will provide crucial support for young people and their careers. However, the world of work is changing fast. With many jobs evolving as a result of AI and automation, it’s more important than ever to ensure workers can reskill for new careers. Under current rules, firms can only access apprenticeship funding to upskill employees in existing roles, not retrain them for new ones. Unless the government builds greater flexibility into the apprenticeship rules, many firms will struggle to transform their workforce for the future. from Steve Collinson HR boss at Insurance firm Zurich
    Steve CollinsonHR boss at Insurance firm Zurich
  7. Tees mayor makes apprentice funding pledge

    Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has pledged to fund the wages of more than 100 apprentices to encourage businesses to offer employment to more 16 to 20-year-olds as part of their coronavirus response.

    Mr Houchen said he will provide almost £1m to fund 100% of the apprentices’ wages in their first six months of employment, and 50% for the remainder of the apprenticeship, up to a maximum of two years.

    Ben Houchen

    A recent survey for the Tees Valley Combined Authority found 69% of business who responded stated that they had furloughed apprentices and 35% said they could no longer commit to employing an apprentice.

    Mr Houchen said: “The coronavirus pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for businesses and local workers. As part of my plan for jobs, we need to make sure that our young people who are part way through an apprenticeship can continue with the qualifications, which will help them for the rest of their lives.

    “This has been a difficult time for everybody, but we need to make sure our young people in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool are equipped to fill the skills gap which many businesses are crying out for. They do not deserve to be disadvantaged because of the coronavirus– they are the workers of the future and we need to do all we can to support them.”