Apprenticeships and training opportunities in Staffordshire are boosting skills and contributing to the low amount of Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimants.
Figures released today show the number of working age people claiming JSA is at 1.1% in the county, compared to 2.5% for the entire West Midlands and 2% nationally.
This also represents a fall of 0.8% on the same period last year.
More people in Staffordshire are taking up apprenticeships and receiving training to ensure they have the skills needed to find work. This follows action by the county council, Entrust, local enterprise partnership and education providers to increase skills and make long-term plans for the future.
Last year, an advanced manufacturing and engineering hub was set up across the local enterprise partnership area and attracted £1.45million Government funding matched by £1.45m from the council and local providers through the City Deal.
One part of the Hub is Martec training in Newcastle. 41 students have now gone through Martec Training’s introductory course on hybrid cars, and the centre is now offering courses to local employers keen to get staff skilled in this new area.
Andrew Ryder works for Holdcrofts Nissan, and has recently completed a course in vehicle maintenance. He said: “Having spent 2 years at Martec training doing my level 2 and 3 in light vehicle maintenance, I was asked to take part in a new course which involved hybrid vehicles.
“The course was very well put together and presented in a professional manner. It’s not just aimed at the motor vehicle technician; it can also benefit people who work in the emergency services. All in all I enjoyed my time at Martec Training, they gave me lots of help and support and the hybrid course was a bonus at the end. I would recommend Martec Training to everybody who wants to start a career in the motor industry. All the staff are very friendly and helpful.”
County Councillor Ben Adams, Cabinet Member for Learning and Skills said: “Staffordshire has one of the fastest growing local economies with a growing number of businesses creating skilled high quality jobs. It is therefore essential that we ensure we can bridge the skills gap for businesses and provide high quality apprenticeships and training.
“Working with the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Enterprise Partnership and education providers, the advanced manufacturing and engineering hub will provide world-class places to learn, increase skills and have direct links to employers, providers, schools and colleges. It is already helping hundreds of people across Staffordshire access training and apprenticeships, and retraining those out of work so they can gain employment the sector.
“All of this means more people are getting the skills they need to gain employment, reducing the number of JSA claimants and contributing to Staffordshire’s growing economy.”