Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 09.26.21A significant number of apprentices have secured placements in the past five years, thanks to opportunities provided by the region’s supply chain valued at more than £2m.

This contribution is a result of work projects undertaken through leading Newcastle-based procurement consortium, NE Procurement’s frameworks and carried out by the supply chain on behalf of the organisation’s members.

The work carried out generates social value and creates employability solutions, including work experience placements, vocational qualifications, but most notably apprenticeships. In the past year, this work has meant 49 apprentices have been supported by 16 NE Procurement supply chain organisations in positions including: Roofers, Administrators, Plumbers, CAD Technicians and Painters.

Rod Brasington, chief executive of NE Procurement, said: “Working in partnership with our supply chain partners over the past five years, we have been able to create a large number of apprenticeship opportunities here in the North East, in many cases for residents living in our members’ homes, improving the lives of a number of people in our region.

“We are looking forward to working closely with our supply chain partners on similar projects in the future.”

Ian Curson, 19-year-old apprentice roofer at Hodgson Sayers who was helped into employment by NE Procurement and their supply chain partners, said: “Hodgson Sayers was my number one choice. I know a couple of lads who are now second year apprentices at the company through the NE Procurement work and I was hearing only good things.

“I have settled in well and it’s great that all apprentices joined at the same time as I have met some great lads and we are able to help each other out. Whatever your apprenticeship, you are assigned a group mentor who oversees training and is someone you can go to for advice.

“During the three years I will spend block stages at Newcastle College where I will learn new skills within workshops that I can use on-site. So far, I am really enjoying it and my aim is to become a site manager!”

The government has set a bold target to create 3 million apprenticeships by 2020 to provide opportunities for both learners and businesses.

Rod added: “It’s great to see the government encouraging more people into apprenticeships. Finally, it’s rightly being recognised as an equal route to work alongside university degrees and qualifications.

“With the Apprentice Levy ready to come into play in April 2017, many more opportunities will be facilitated for organisations of all sizes.”

To find out more about NE Procurement’s involvement with employability in the North East, visit neprocurement.org.uk.

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