OppShef urges employers to invest in apprentices as lockdown eases

Opportunity Sheffield is urging Sheffield employers to commit to apprenticeship recruitment as the lockdown eases and the labour market kicks back into gear.

Laura Hayfield, Acting Head of Employment and Skills, Sheffield City Council, says:

“Sheffield City Council Employment and Skills Service (Opportunity Sheffield), has helped move over 100 local people into emergency positions over recent weeks and as lockdown looks soon to begin easing we are keen to turn our attention to support the young people now leaving School, College and University in our City and enter into an unprecedentedly difficult jobs market. 

“There has never been a more important time to invest in new skills for businesses as your business activities may have seen significant change in recent months and moving forwards you may need new skills in order to adapt to this new way of working. 

“Young people can take on board and adapt to new ways of working as they are already new to the world of work. They are able to take on new IT skills in order to support your businesses changing circumstances. They bring new fresh and potentially innovative ideas to your business and can re-invigorate your existing teams. 

“Taking on an apprentice can be a cost effective way of developing new and crucial skills in your business. There are grants and funding available to support your business during this difficult time where financial restrictions are key in supporting the ongoing development of business.

“As a region we already have skills shortages in many areas and the current climate may only exasperate this situation, therefore we need to support businesses in investing in young people to fill these gaps and prepare for the future. By investing in your people through the apprenticeship programme a business can encourage a more productive and engaged workforce, as all employees feel they are working for a business investing in the future. 

“Right now is the ideal time to pick up the best talent from this years school and college leavers. These young people are enthusiastic and ready to take up opportunities and can become long term employees for the years ahead. Contributing to the long term growth of your business. Leave it until September and you are at risk of missing out on the best talent. 

“Right now young people are available for online interviews. Sheffield City Council can support your business in linking into School, College and University leavers. Importantly, by employing an apprentice, you are demonstrating your commitment to your local community and you care about the future of our young people, who during this time are facing disproportionate barriers to employment.”

Contact details

Please get in touch to learn more, opportunity@sheffield.gov.uk or telephone 07799 326 668.”