In Spring 2017 the way the government funds apprenticeships in England is changing. Some employers will be required to contribute to a new Apprenticeship Levy, and there will be changes to the funding for apprenticeship training for all employers.
The Apprenticeship Levy is being introduced today (6 April 2017). The levy requires all employers operating in the UK, with a pay bill over £3 million each year, to invest in apprenticeships. Derby City Council has committed to maximise the benefit of this opportunity for its own employees and apprentices and work with other organisations, as part of phase two of the programme, to ensure the City fully optimises the Levy opportunities.
In the recent budget announcement, Derby City Council Leader, Councillor Banwait made a pledge that we will create 2000 jobs and apprenticeships for Derby people by 2019.
Creating jobs and apprenticeships is an important component of the Derby Economic Strategy. We are achieving this through development projects within the City Centre and at Infinity Park as well as by supporting local businesses with funding to expand, for instance through the Derby Enterprise Growth Fund.
We are committed to supporting children in being ready to start school, raising educational attainment at all levels and creating a city where we have the skills to meet the needs of local employers promoting the employability of Derby people. We will seek, alongside businesses, to maximise the apprenticeship opportunities for our young people making sure they have access to employment, education or training.
In May 2015, Sarah Russell took on a new challenge as the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills. During her time as a Cabinet Member, Councillor Russell has taken a prominent role in introducing the Living Wage for Derby City Council employees, while also leading a campaign on the Government’s work programme. The role includes responsibility for transforming the performance of schools in Derby, as well as creating innovative opportunities for adult and workplace learning.
Councillor Russell’s priority is to make sure that children and young people fulfil their potential and ensure all residents have access to life-long learning opportunities. This involves supporting young people into work, apprenticeships or further education and developing innovative proposals for promoting lifelong learning.
Councillor Russell spoke at an event held by Derby Homes to celebrate National Apprenticeship week and said:
It’s massively important that we praise the hard work of apprentices, and the contribution they make, both to the local and national economy. We’ve got a really proud history in Derby of getting young people into apprenticeships, and there’s been a lot of hard work that’s gone into developing exceptional talent that contributes hugely to Derby and the wider community.
Derby City Council is committed to delivering a vibrant City Centre and reinforcing its central economic and social role by supporting sustainable economic growth and regeneration, greatly improving the quality of the built environment, creating new employment and learning opportunities.
Derby’s workforce is highly skilled – 11.8% are employed in high-tech functions, four times the national average. Employment rates in Derby have risen to 73.3% (2015) with unemployment rates forecast to decline further. We are undertaking a variety of ambitious development projects and international trade agreements, designed to strengthen our economy and continue to make Derby a great place to learn and work.