Watford Best for Apprenticeships

Richard is appealing to local businesses to hire an apprentice, bringing awareness to the benefits apprenticeships can offer employers and employees alike.

The Watford MP joins MPs across England who have pledged to champion apprenticeships in their local area and help meet the goal of three million new apprenticeships by 2020.

The campaign, the Parliamentary 100 in 100, led by Nadhim Zahawi MP as the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Apprentices will see an announcement by an MP every day for 100 days. These announcements can include pledges from local businesses, charities or schools to take on apprentices for the first time, or to grow their existing apprenticeship programmes. The formal launch of the Campaign will be held in the House of Commons in February 2016.

Richard Harrington has written to Watford employers, large and small, appealing to them to hire an apprentice, explaining how simple the process can be and the incentives available.

Speaking about his participation in the campaign, Richard said:

“I think by now most local people know that I am a huge supporter of apprenticeships. In this appeal I have drawn on my own experience – in the early days of my business I hired an apprentice and although I’m no longer there, she is! Business incentives for apprenticeships and the way they are funded by Government has changed a lot for the better since then and you can now receive funding for your first five apprentices.”

“I am very proud to say that in the last 5 years nearly 4,000 apprentices have been hired in Watford. However, as Hertfordshire’s foremost business area, I really believe we can do better. If you already have an apprenticeship scheme and want to know how you can expand it or are willing to share your experiences with other firms to help me encourage them, please get in contact. Likewise, if you are new to this, please don’t hesitate to contact me and I will help you as much as I can.”

There is a wealth of data which shows that productivity, skill levels and morale is higher at and increases within those businesses who hire an apprentice. Many say it improves their staff retention and ability to attract new staff.

An apprenticeship is a formal work-based training programme, leading to a nationally recognised qualification, with flexible content, and delivering methods designed around the needs of employers.

They are available for new and existing members of staff, and there is no upper age limit. Apprenticeships are offered in 170 industries and new industry standards range from nuclear engineers, to fashion assistants, to welders; there are thousands of options to suit your business.

The entry level is determined by job role and experience, and you companies can choose whether a Traineeship, Intermediate Apprenticeship (Level 2), Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3) or Higher and Degree Apprenticeship (Level 4, 5, 6 and 7) is most appropriate for their business. Businesses can then partner with excellent local colleges and training providers in order to deliver the apprenticeship.

Richard Harrington will report back on his progress with the campaign