Small businesses helped to provide apprenticeships

More than 1,400 apprenticeships have been created across Nottinghamshire in 2014/15 with 400 apprenticeship grants awarded.

Nottinghamshire is a leader in providing apprenticeships and helping people into work, but more can still be done according to councillors and businesses at a recent breakfast seminar.

Hosted jointly by First Enterprise, The Renewal Trust and City College Nottingham, the breakfast seminar aims to help and offer and give small businesses an idea of the funding available to them to take on apprentices.

Councillor Nick Macdonald, the city council’s portfolio holder for jobs and growth, was one of the speakers at the event. He said: “With Small Business Saturday approaching and the change in our economy over the last two decades, we are now very reliant on small businesses and want to focus on supporting them.

“If we are to be successful as a city our support and efforts need to be about small businesses. We have helped thousands of people into jobs through apprenticeships with the launch of the Nottingham Job Fund and Step Into Work programme but we want to continue to help more small businesses to grow through taking on apprentices.”

Hassan Ahmed, chair of First Enterprise – the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) in the East Midlands, said the partnership between The Renewal Trust, City College Nottingham and Nottingham City Council would continue to act as a tool for small businesses.

“More still needs to be done to tackle the serious issues of unemployment and low prospects still faced by inner city communities. We hope that by holding regular seminars for small businesses, it will provide them with the tools they need to be aware of help and advice on offer to them.”

By 2020, Nottinghamshire needs to have created three million apprenticeships. Grants of up to £2,500 through different funding streams are available to small businesses to support them in helping apprentices on.