AN education and training provider on the Isle of Wight has reported a 40 per cent increase in the number of 16 to 18 year olds taking part in apprenticeship programmes over the past 12 months, bucking a national trend.
HTP founder and managing director Rachael Fidler said: "We are delighted to see this kind of overall growth at a time when government figures are declaring a 19 per cent drop in the number of 16 to18 year olds starting apprenticeships in the UK."
She said success was aided by being able to collaborate with an "enlightened and proactive local council" which ran a pre-employment training initiative not dissimilar to the government’s new traineeships.
"The council is also offering grants to employers, matching the national AGE grant scheme which together can provide an employer with £3,000 for supporting the recruitment of a young person," she said.
She said HTP worked with hundreds of employers locally and further afield, and successfully placed hundreds of young people every year.
In the last three academic years, an average 94 per cent of all HTP apprentices remained in employment.
She highlighted two success stories.
Hannah Pound, 18, from Ryde, is now fully employed at Haylands Farm through a combination of classroom learning and work placement. She is now also on an advanced apprenticeship in health and social care.
Riggs Hurrell, 17, from Sandown, is now a professional cookery advanced apprentice.
He started at the HTP Skills Centre in January and quickly gained a work experience placement at Melville Hall Hotel in Sandown where the head chef was impressed at the knowledge and practical skills he had already gained. Riggs recently secured a position of second chef at the hotel and has progressed onto his advanced apprenticeship in professional cookery.