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Future Apprentices Graduate and Prepare to Engineer their Future

Future Apprentices Graduate and Prepare to Engineer their Future  
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A group of 16 young people aged 16 to 24 have graduated from an intensive two week Pre-Apprenticeship training programme delivered by a partnership between Northumberland College and Zenith People.

The young people were selected out of 90 applicants for the programme and will now go forward for interview for live Apprenticeship vacancies from 35 employers in the engineering and manufacturing sectors including Hi-Q, Shield Engineering, Ralph Scott and Blyth Service Station.

The Apprenticeship vacancies are linked to a £11.75m funding pot awarded to Northumberland development company, Arch, from the Government's RGF fund to make £15,000 available to qualifying employers.

The successful group undertook a week of practical training to develop essential skills in health and safety and environment awareness at the college's Ashington campus. They were also put through their paces with visits to four business sites in their second week.

Lisa Waller, Training Operations Manager at Zenith People, said: "We were delighted to be awarded the contract by Arch which has enabled us to partner with Northumberland College. We have a proven track record delivering intensive Pre-Apprenticeship training that is based around the idea of providing young people with recruitment skills, sector knowledge and work readiness, before matching them to apprenticeship opportunities. These young people have met business leaders and were given the opportunity to put the practical skills they developed on this programme into practice, which is a good learning experience for them."

Jacqui Henderson, Chair of Governors at Northumberland College who was guest speaker at the graduation ceremony, said: "Everyone who successfully completed this two week programme has received a Level 2 certificate in Industrial Environment Awareness and a guaranteed interview with local employers and I wish them every success for the future."

Rebbeca Hunter, 16, from Lynemouth, said: "When I found out I had been accepted onto this two week programme I was really excited and to know I'll get an Apprenticeship soon is amazing."

Following interviews the group will take up paid employment as an Apprentice and begin a three year Level 3 Apprenticeship at the college where they'll attend one day per week and study in the college's industry standard engineering workshops.

Lisa Mood, Business Development and Employability Manager at Northumberland College, said: "The key success of this programme it that it has increased understanding of the industries amongst these young people and will help to give them an increased chance of sustained employment because of this understanding prior to commencing their Apprenticeship."

Zenith People has a proven track record in recruitment across a broad range of sectors within the North East.

Northumberland College, which is the largest training provider in the county, offers over 40 Apprenticeship courses and recently received its best ever Ofsted result. The college also works with more than 700 businesses across the region.

Anyone wishing to find out more about Apprenticeships at the college should click here.