Apprentices will help Lancashire to rebuild and recover

The year 2020 was nothing short of extraordinary, and we all had to adapt to new ways of working in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

However, one thing did remain, and that was the continuation of the delivery of high quality technical learning to all of our learners. 

Preston’s College has already seen some outstanding learner achievements, in spite of the changes that we‘ve had to make to our delivery models in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our staff and learners.

Throughout the pandemic we have been inspired by the remarkable and resilient employers that we work with across the region.

Following the initial lockdown period, we experienced an unexpected influx in the appointment of new apprentices across key sectors, with employer partners creating opportunities to hire new members of staff, to help rebuild and recover their organisations, and to give the young people of our region the opportunity to gain crucial technical skills in helping to bridge the ‘skills gap’ that we so often hear about in Lancashire.

It was pleasing to see that in late summer, and after the initial lockdown, that the government issued a series of kick-start programmes for those looking to get back into skilled work but also to support employers with their recovery from the pandemic. 

Throughout the pandemic we have been inspired by the remarkable and resilient employers that we work with across the region.

The government introduced monetary employer incentives, ensuring that for each new apprentice hired between 1st Aug 2020 and 31st March 2021, an employer would receive up to £3,000 – this understandably has been a lifeline for many organisations, as they work to respond positively to the ongoing pandemic.

For us, apprenticeship applications have not fallen. The start of the 20/21 academic year has seen a higher number of 16-18 year olds starting full time education and an increased number of adult learners looking for apprenticeships.  

In some sectors, recovery is understandingly slower for varying industry related reasons, with the impact being a decreased number of apprenticeship opportunities than previous years.

But whilst we do not know what the future will bring, what we do know is that we will continue to ensure that Lancashire has a continual supply chain of work-ready learners, competent apprentices and adult learners looking to upskill and progress with their career ambitions. 

Preston’s College vision is to make our learners the most employable that they can be, and to create sustained progression from classroom-based learning to apprenticeships or employment. We do this through the high quality provision of industry relevant skills and knowledge, often directly supported by our outstanding employer partners.

We’d like to express our sincere thanks to all of our employer partners for their continued support and dedication to both us and our apprentices.

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