A Salford apprenticeship fund has celebrated a year of helping small businesses create new employment opportunities for young people.
Young people taking these apprenticeships are paid the national living wage for 25-year-olds (£8.72) regardless of their age.
This is despite the minimum wage for under 18-year-olds being just £4.55.
Salford City Council and Salford City college are among the 13 organisations making this possible.
Allan Milne, Head of Apprenticeship and Business Development at Salford City College believes there is “nothing better” than watching the apprentices develop a career from the opportunity.
Mr Milne said: “The individual wins as they have skills and knowledge that will last them a lifetime and the employer has a new highly skilled member of staff who is loyal and motivated.
“As a city we need to continue to create the amazing opportunities the people of the city of Salford deserve”.
Sue Davison from Sodexo, one of the companies contributing to the fund, is “truly excited” as a large local employer at the opportunity to “give something back”.
Ms Davison said
“It’s a massive opportunity, particularly for young people who may not have had the best experience in education”.
Maxine Freed, from Dock 10 who are also involved in the fund believes the scheme will help young people achieve better quality of life.
She said: “Irrespective of age they should be receiving the minimum wage.
“They can’t afford to live, its almost like it isn’t worth working if they can’t afford to live”
So far, 13 organisations have committed a proportion of their apprenticeship levy, plus GMCA funding, amounting to £636,727.
On Tuesday, organisations involved in the fund held a networking meeting to review its success.
Speeches were given by the Mayor, Paul Dennett as well as apprentices and employers who have benefited from the scheme.
Mr Dennett said:
“The spirit of the fund is to engage local SMEs (small medium employers) who are willing to employ Salford residents in long term sustainable jobs through an apprenticeship and to support their existing workforce to close the ‘skills gap’ in priority sectors.”
Over the past year the fund has supported 24 organisations, and created apprenticeship opportunities for 34 individuals.
Fantastic morning at Salford’s Skills for Business Apprenticeship Fund update @SCC_Apprentices this morning. Thank you to the 13 organisations gifting their apprenticeship levy supporting 24 organisations & creating 34 apprenticeships & creating opportunities in our great City.😀 pic.twitter.com/6QIq06AJlF
— SalfordMayor (@salford_mayor) March 3, 2020