Watford Best for Apprenticeships with 5,200 Starts

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2018, Richard Harrington MP showcases the great work apprentices are doing in Watford and encourages even more businesses to take on apprentice. 

During the Week (5-9 March), Mr Harrington visited local businesses and apprenticeship providers, including TCHC and 3aaa, to speak to apprentices in a variety of sectors, and learn more about the new apprenticeships on offer in the area.

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.  

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.

The Watford MP, and former apprenticeship adviser to the Prime Minister, has been championing apprenticeships locally by working with employers and making them aware of the Government incentives. 

Mr Harrington is writing to local businesses and asking them to take on an apprentice for the first time, or encouraging them to grow their apprenticeship programme. 

He said "With 5,200 apprenticeships starts since 2010, Watford is leading the way and has some of the highest take up rates in the country.

I want every young person leaving school to view an apprenticeship or going to university in equal merit. Becoming an apprentice is a great route into a first job or to change career. You can get paid whilst you learn, which means having no student loan and gaining real-life experience.

This week we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, and I am reaching out to local businesses asking them to take on an apprentice. National Apprenticeship Week is an important opportunity to shout about how apprenticeships are working here in Watford. I want to showcase the success of apprenticeships, and also encourage even more businesses to consider taking on an apprentice.

I have been working closely with Government Ministers on incentives to encourage more businesses to take on apprentices and so I’m delighted that the Government will now pay 100 percent of training costs if you have fewer than 50 employees. You can also get £1,000 of Government funding for taking on an apprentice, so it really is a win-win. In total, the Government has spent over £60 million on training apprentices and we are well on the way to reaching 3 million apprenticeship starts nationally. With Watford’s growing business community, I want to see even more businesses reaping the benefits of hiring an apprentice."