Kent County Council is endeavouring to help tackle the shortage of particular skills in Kent business by bringing together eight employer guilds to encourage young people to work in these industries.
Employers met with training colleges and schools on Tuesday 21 March to highlight the issues at a conference which was the first of its kind in the county.
Paul Carter, Leader of Kent County Council said: “Currently we are not producing enough young people with the skills to meet the needs of UK and Kent employers. As we move into a post-Brexit landscape, it will be even more important for businesses to plan ahead and compete in a global market. Young people are going to be vital to the future success in these areas.”
The eight guilds represent the following industries: construction, engineering, creative and media, financial, health and social care, hospitality and tourism, land based and sciences.
Paul went on to say: “Through this Kent initiative we are trying to encourage employers in all sectors to take up the empowering new changes in training. We also want to help young people understand more about particular careers and the potential opportunities these might bring.
“For the first time businesses can commission their own training, hire apprentices of any age, upskill their existing workforce and access training funding all through the apprenticeship programme.
“We are working with some very exciting innovative companies who are based in Kent. Young people do not always realise how rewarding and interesting a career with them might be.
“Our ‘Made in Kent’ campaign shows KCC is leading by example and committed to making the apprenticeship scheme even more compelling than before, our ambition is to double the number of apprentices in Kent by 2019/20.
“I also believe that the expanded apprenticeship programme is a fantastic opportunity for all Kent businesses and employees.
“It will facilitate considerable new investment in staff training and development, and do much to reduce the skills gap many businesses regularly report.
“We have created eight employer guilds to promote an industry sector where we know there will be the most need over the next ten years. Each one is led by an experienced expert in that field and will work with other employers in that sector to promote it as a career to young people. If an employer is based near a school they will be encouraged to work in partnership with the school, offering placements and talking to students about the work they do. This is already working really well in Dover where Megger engineering is working closely with Goodwin Academy.”
For more information please call 03000 414005 or visit www.apprenticekent.com.