Lewisham on track to recruit 100 apprentices in 100 days
With the coronavirus crisis hitting the economy hard, Lewisham has committed to expanding its apprenticeship programme to provide opportunities for residents. So far over 300 applications from Lewisham residents have been received for roles in housing, construction, retail and schools, as well as a vacancy working in the Mayor of Lewisham’s office. Vacancies are also available at other local partners and at local businesses.
Earn while you learn
The apprenticeships will offer residents the chance to earn while they learn. Apprentices can gain experience, develop their skills, and build a career, whilst supporting the local community. Each apprentice at the Council will be paid the London Living Wage, which is at least double the apprentice minimum wage.
Since the launch – and following a call out from the Mayor of Lewisham – a number of local businesses have offered opportunities including Good Food stores in Sydenham and Catford. Employers who take part and hire apprentices will be eligible for a hiring bonus of up to £2,000, support from the council with training costs, and support with recruitment.
Manager of Good Food, Vicky Skingley said:
“I have always believed that businesses should make a positive contribution to the community that they are based in. Having apprentices is something we have always wanted to do and opening a new store will allow us the flexibility to make this happen. We are looking forward to having new people working with us, hopefully increasing the diversity of our workforce and bringing their own ideas to help improve how we work.”
Cllr Joe Dromey Cabinet member for Culture, Jobs and Skills said:
“We are determined to support our residents through this crisis, and to build an economy that works for the many. Despite massive cuts to our budget, we are increasing the number of apprenticeships, and we will ensure all are paid the Living Wage.
“Apprenticeships are not just fantastic opportunities for workers – they are good for business too. So we are calling on local employers to work with us to create more apprenticeships.”
Ryan Skinner who is an apprentice working in Lewisham Council’s housing team said:
“I’m really happy to be a Lewisham apprentice. I’ve had the chance to gain experience of how housing works within the council, to make a difference to people’s lives and improved my communication and organisational skills. At the same time I’ve successfully completed assignments for my qualification. I’d encourage others to find out more about Lewisham’s apprenticeships and if you see something that is of interest then I’d encourage you to get your application in.”
Businesses taking part can access support with creating roles, identifying training providers, and recruitment. Businesses can also apply for apprenticeship levy funding from the Council to support apprenticeship training. Businesses taking on new apprentices before the end of January can be eligible for a hiring incentive of up to £2,000.