Local businesses embrace Apprenticeships

24th February, 2014
More people in North Devon and Torridge started an Apprenticeship programme than the rest of the South West, according to figures published in The Northern Devon Skills Report.

Over the past three years, the number of people taking on apprentices in the area has grown by 15% and small businesses are responsible for much of this growth.

Of the 1395 Apprenticeships started last year more than half were with small employers, some taking on their first employee.

Sarah Grigg, Employment and Skills Manager at North Devon+ said: “This is not only fantastic news for the economy of North Devon, but brilliant news for the young people who are gaining the skills they need to succeed in the workplace.”

“We attribute the success of the Apprenticeship programme to local businesses in particular, especially to those employers with less than ten employees – they are at the heart of the rural economy and by taking on an apprentice they are nurturing skills and ensuring that talent remains in this area.”

National Apprenticeship Week takes place across England in the first week of March and this will be followed by an Apprenticeship Showcase event in North Devon – aimed at employers, young people and parents.

This is the fourth year of the event, which will provide a host of expertise, guidance from industry experts and activities and will take place on Thursday 13 March at the Barnstaple Hotel.

Terry Schofield, managing director at MJM Sports, came along to the Apprenticeship Showcase last year to find out about taking on an apprentice for the family business. Terry explains: “I am looking to develop a young management team going forward, so there are good progression opportunities.”

Sir Nick Harvey, MP for North Devon, said: “Whilst Apprenticeships are open to all age groups, they offer a particularly important career path for our local young people. With funding and increased variety available, there has never been a better time for small businesses that are recruiting to consider offering an Apprenticeship.”

The Apprenticeships Showcase event will take place from 8am on Thursday 13 March at the Barnstaple Hotel. Visit  for further details.