Tower Hamlets Council has now helped to create more than 1,000 apprenticeship opportunities across the borough, hitting the target set by Mayor John Biggs in his ‘apprenticeship commitment’.
In 2017, the mayor pledged that WorkPath – the council’s employment and training service – would work with local businesses and training providers, as well as with the council’s own HR department, to generate 1,000 new apprenticeship places in the borough and surrounding areas by 2020.
John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “I’m delighted that we have hit our target, on schedule. We believe strongly in the value of apprenticeships which is why we made this commitment to promote the benefits they offer for residents and businesses.
“We know that many employers want to provide opportunities to new and existing staff but in the past, they’ve found the apprenticeship system hard to navigate. By creating a dedicated team at WorkPath we were able to reach out and guide them through the process, delivering opportunities for our residents in the process.”
Apprenticeships are a cost-effective way to build a highly skilled workforce. With skills shortages being one of the biggest issues facing the UK, they can play a vital role in allowing organisations to develop and empower their staff, creating committed and motivated teams with the ability to boost business and deliver results. They also provide valuable on the job training for people starting out on new career paths as well as existing employees looking to develop in their roles.
Councillor Motin Uz-Zaman, Cabinet Member for Work and Economic Growth, said: “Setting up a dedicated team to go out and support employers has made all the difference. One of their most important achievements has been to bust some of the myths surrounding apprenticeships, opening doors for a more diverse range of candidates in the process.
“For example, a common misconception is that apprenticeships are only suited to young people or for entry-level roles. In reality, they can be tailored to people of any age and they’re available at levels ranging from GCSE right up to postgraduate.
“We’ve made a great start with these 1,000 places. We’ll continue to develop apprenticeship opportunities and to help realise the potential of the great talent that we have in Tower Hamlets.”