On Tuesday 13th January 2015, the Government’s Apprenticeships Ambassador, Gordon Birtwistle, and Peter Lilley MP attended the official launch of a path-breaking new apprenticeship scheme at The Construction Skills Academy in Hitchin.
The Academy, launched last year, offers young people free training, tools and equipment and, above all, a guaranteed career in construction. Burnley MP attended the launch of new partnership between the Academy and North Herts College where together they have collaborated to upgrade the course to an apprenticeship leading to a recognized National Vocational Qualification.
Local MP Gordon Birtwistle MP, said,
“I am delighted to have been able to attend the launch of this new Apprenticeships scheme in Hitchin and to see for myself the fantastic opportunities that The Construction Academy offers to young people. I was an apprentice myself when I left school so I know how important it can be in giving young people a career.
“As the Government's Apprenticeship Ambassador, I am delighted that we have achieved two million apprenticeships in the last Parliament. We must continue to deliver more high quality apprenticeships in order to close the widening skills gap and balance the economy."
Simon Harvey, Director of the Construction Skills Academy said: “We believe the future is about investing in young people. In the five months up to Christmas, The Academy took 40 young people off Job Seekers Allowance, trained them and gave them a PAYE based career through the Academy’s commercial partner The Grays Group. The introduction of the Apprenticeships and NVQ through North Herts College is great news for the Academy, our partners, NHC and, most importantly, for young people in the Hertfordshire and Greater London area.”
Carrie Smith, Vice Principal of North Herts College said, “We are delighted to be working with The Construction Skills Academy and The Grays Group in such a way that will grow apprenticeship and employment opportunities in North Herts. This collaboration will help us to continue developing the skills of local residents and supporting local businesses to meet their recruitment needs. A true partnership.”