Apprenticeship pilot

Nottingham City Council’s Apprenticeship Hub is working in partnership with employers based in the City’s Creative Quarter, the Creative Quarter Company and the Broxtowe Education Skills Training (BEST) to create and fill over 15 new Apprenticeships. The program me developed by this partnership is unique in the City as it is not only supporting the employers to create the Apprenticeship opportunities, it is also supporting identified young people from the North of the City who are currently looking for work to secure these new jobs.

The Nottingham City Council Apprentice Scheme kicked off last week with a valuable pilot event. Prospective apprentices were invited into the Creative Quarter and given the opportunity to meet prospective employers.

Both young people from disadvantaged areas and creative businesses from the Creative Quarter met up at a mini market event at The Corner – a cultural and creative hub in Stoney Street in the heart of the Creative Quarter.

During this event a group of young people, identified by BEST, had the opportunity to make contact with business, such as Mimm Clothing, AEDA, I’m not from London, Left Lion, cpmg and T.J. Elliot among others, who are likely to have job opportunities in the near future. Over a period of two hours they got to know each other in a relaxed and informal environment over sandwiches provided by Harley’s Cafe.

Tim Elliot, owner of T.J. Elliots was hopeful of discovering new talent at the event, saying:

“Because I work in the digital marketing arena it’s important to keep up with trends – what young people think, like and interact with. My business is in a period of growth and so I am hoping to find some talent to take along the journey with me over the next few years.”

At the end of the event, the young people were asked who they would like to work for and employers asked to identify those they would be interested in employing.

One of the young people looking for work, Sandra Moyo, confirmed the importance of meeting people face to face at such an event.

“I came along today to find an apprenticeship in fashion or hairdressing. It’s important to meet people face to face and to explore opportunities. I’m waiting to talk to Mimm clothing.”

The event follows on from a taster event the previous week when a series of young unemployed people had the opportunity to walk round the Creative Quarter in order to get a better understanding of what businesses and opportunities were available in the Creative Quarter and to see how close the area was in relation to the city centre.

The next steps for the project, where these matches have been made, is for the Apprenticeship Hub to support the employers to find the best Apprenticeship, training provider and any financial support they are eligible for and for BEST to support the young people to develop the skills they will need to progress onto these Apprenticeship and to become effective members of the Creative Quarter’s growing Apprenticeship community.

Speaking about the project, Councillor Nick McDonald, Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Jobs and Growth, commented: “If the Creative Quarter is going to deliver for our local economy, then it is vital that it becomes a mechanism through which we can address our skills gap as a city. I believe that apprenticeships are the most important way we can do this, and that is why during the City Deal negotiations we persuaded Government to give us the funding to create 250 new apprenticeships in the Creative Quarter. We have already made progress, but this event is aimed at persuading more Creative Quarter employers that an apprenticeship is right for them, and explaining how the Council and the Creative Quarter Company can help them take someone on.”

The apprenticeship pilot is aiming to explore how businesses can support young people who are not in education, employment and training, and help them access some of the creative, digital, media and other business admin and service apprenticeships available among CQ businesses. It is a joint initiative between Nottingham City Council, The Creative Quarter company, BEST, MS Henson, The Apprenticeship Hub and Artisum. The scheme is funded by the Nottingham City Council Apprenticeship Hub.

Anna Mimms MBE Chief Executive of BEST says:

“BEST has been working with the team at the Creative Quarter for the past few weeks to put together one of the most innovative approaches to local recruitment that Nottingham City has ever seen. People from Nottingham’s unemployment hotspots are being offered the opportunity to ‘speed date’ potential employers in the Creative Quarter. The generosity of spirit that Nottingham’s creative quarter employers are showing is just extraordinary. I shall be joining unemployed people from Nottingham North tomorrow; some of them will get jobs. This will change lives. It is a privilege to be part of such a ground breaking project”.

Artisum delivers financial support services to creative businesses. It has used these existing relationships with employers in the Creative Quarter to generate interest in the services offered by the Apprenticeship Hub. The Hub has already benefited many local businesses, especially SMEs (small and medium enterprises), who may not otherwise have the resources to take on additional staff.

Tim Bellamy, MD of Arisum had this to say about their involvement:

“Artisum have always believed in supporting creativity into business and working with Best Social Enterprise, Nottingham City Council’s Apprenticeship Hub and the Creative Quarter Company is the next step in supporting these businesses to grow. Bringing people into the Creative Quarter area to work and learn about the businesses based here will only help to further establish Nottingham as one of the country’s most creative cities.”

The pilot scheme today is a launch event for a raft of initiatives from the Nottingham City Council in creating job opportunities as part of its Growth 100 plan. The desired outcome of today’s event is to secure interviews for young people attending the event with companies who they met. Natalie Coulton who represented the creative business Hawk and Mouse at the event summed up the benefits for business by saying

“We are looking to give opportunities to someone may have a raw talent that they may not even know about. This type of event gives us the opportunity to meet with those people.”

The young people are being supported by BEST – an organisation working with young disadvantaged people in order to best support them into employment. BEST works in the heart of the Broxtowe Estate in Nottingham City, improving the skills and employment prospects of residents.

To find out more about how the Apprenticeship Hub can support young people and employers, please contact the Apprenticeship Hub on 0115 876 2825 or visit http:www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/apprentice

Growth 100 plan: http://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/growth-100