Islington rolls out 'Apprentice Army'

Islington rolls out 'Apprentice Army'Islington Council have begun a major drive to improve the area at the same time as cutting youth unemployment by recruiting what has been described as an ‘Apprentice Army’.

Some 33 residents have begun paid apprenticeships with the council since April 2014, which represents significant progress towards the borough’s target of providing 200 such places by 2018.

There are also 23 further positions expected to become available over the next few months. To promote these opportunities, the council will host an event on March 10th as part of National Apprenticeships Week to showcase the possibilities of programmes in finance,  IT, housing, repairs and legal services.

This commitment should also have a strong impact on Islington’s youth unemployment figures, which at 2.4 per cent are slightly higher than the national average of two per cent. Of the latest intake, 30 out of 33 are aged between 18 and 24. Young people are more likely than any other group to find themselves out of work, or be subject to benefit sanctions.

Richard Watts, the leader of Islington Council and an Islington Employment Commissioner said: "The council is determined to get more young people into work. Our paid council apprenticeships provide a unique opportunity to gain entry-level experience and qualifications to 200 bright job seekers, who haven't had the best of luck looking for work.

"Along with the pioneering Employment Commission, we are creating change and opportunity for the borough's young people across a range of employers and skills."

The successful candidates will receive on-the-job training in a range of fields, including street cleaning, park ranger positions, gardening, bricklaying, finance and business administration, call centre work and advisor roles.

One person who has benefitted from the council’s apprenticeship scheme is 21-year-old Freddie Palmer, from Caledonian Road, who gained qualifications thanks to his years as an apprentice.

He said: “The knowledge I gained through my apprenticeship has definitely put me at an advantage. For me, an apprenticeship has been the best start to getting my career off the ground."

Published 4th March, 2015

© 2015 Estates IT Limited

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