Bedford Borough Council is launching its new Apprenticeship Strategy and it may be surprising to some people that it is not just focused on young people and school leavers. The Strategy will offer apprenticeships for those just starting out, those starting later in life and those who are retraining to take up better paid opportunities. This strategy aims to promote new skills development for people across the Borough, increasing employment and growth.
Mayor Dave Hodgson said "I am very pleased that this Council has consistently promoted apprenticeships for all workers at any age. They have fantastic benefits for the individuals, the organisations and the Borough as a whole. Apprentices are able to boost their own individual employability and the schemes also mean that organisations are developing the skills relevant to the job role."
Bedford Borough Council's vision is to create high quality apprenticeship opportunities for a variety of individuals - whether they are starting their career, wanting a change of career or are upskilling in their current job. In addition to identifying apprenticeship opportunities for new employees, the Council will use apprenticeships to develop the existing workforce to address skills shortages.
Bedford Borough Council's previous Apprenticeship Strategy covered the period April 2017 to March 2021 and was then extended to March 2022 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this period, the Council created 135 new apprenticeship starts. Whilst a large proportion of the new apprentices were under 25, it is important to highlight that the Council also provided 50 apprenticeships for people over 40.
Mayor Dave Hodgson added "The Council's support for apprenticeships has been very impressive, especially when you look at the individual successes of the people and the schemes. We have had apprentices win awards for their work and gone on to achieve great things in their careers. We have also been able to develop the green economy, as well as supporting our critical services such as children's and adults' social care."