LOCAL COMPANY HELPING FILLING THE APPRENTICESHIPS GAP
A Marsden man is working to help stem a big fall in new apprenticeships in Kirklees.
Adrian Bird set up his specialist recruitment service, The Apprentice Finder, 15 months ago and last year found placements for about 50 young people, most of them in Kirklees and Calderdale.
The number of people starting apprenticeships in Kirklees last year dropped by 8% to 3,800. In Calderdale, there was an even larger fall of nearly 15% to 2,030.
Mr Bird, 43, said in the wake of National Apprenticeship Week that he fully expects his service to expand so that he can provide an even stronger link between schools and colleges, business and training providers for the benefit of young people aged between 16 an 19 years.
He spoke about his work with Colne Valley’s Labour Parliamentary Candidate, Jane East, who stressed the importance of finding a vocational option for the 50% of students who choose not to go to university.
“Labour believes we need to give all of our young people the best chance to get on in life,” she said. “I think Adrian is playing an important role in finding apprenticeships, despite a number of difficulties created by current legislation.
“He clearly shares my belief that we have to ensure that young people get a meaningful learning opportunity, and are not just seen as cheap labour. We need more and better apprenticeships in the Valleys so that our young people don’t need to move away for a decent job.”