CIVIC chiefs in Southampton have unveiled a raft of measures to help young apprentices in the city.
The Labour council’s Cabinet has approved the implementation of nine measures to increase opportunities for young people wanting to take up opportunities.
They include setting up a new careers website, working alongside local business organisations to create more opportunities, and setting up a grant scheme.
The measures approved at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting were first put together by a cross-party committee of councillors set up to look into apprenticeships.
Most of the funding for implementing the new measures will come from the City Deal and funding from the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) or European funds.
One of the main aims of the £953m City Deal, signed off by council bosses in Hampshire and the Government, was to create more apprenticeship opportunities.
Among the new measures which will be brought in over the next two years is the creation of a new careers website which will feature advice and guidance, and other resources for young people.
The content will be provided by schools, colleges and training providers from across the city.
A new Enhanced Traineeship scheme will also be set up alongside the Solent LEP, and will be delivered through colleges and other traineeship providers.
The council itself will set up a new policy to hire more apprenticeships and work experience positions, which is likely to be rolled out at its private sector partner Capita too.
An apprenticeship grant scheme will offer financial assistance to people needing it, while a new apprenticeship graduation event will be organised in partnership with employers, training providers and funding agencies.
Part of the proposals would also see the setting up of a so-called Southampton City of Opportunity Hub to engage employers and encourage them to take on youngsters.
The council’s Cabinet member for economic development and leisure services, Cllr Matt Tucker, said: “The proposals are a fantastic opportunity to transform the employment prospects for many young people – in particular by supporting them into a route of employment.
“It also provides a chance for small and medium-sized enterprises in the city to think about taking on apprentices.
“I’m delighted that the apprenticeship graduation day will be going ahead in the autumn of 2014.
“This event will aim to recognise the great achievements of our apprentices.”