Teaming up with the Worcester Chamber of Commerce, the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), the Hereford and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce and other key organisations including Skills for Security, the Worcester News once again aimed to sign up a hundred local companies to sign up 100 apprentices ... in 100 days.
The campaign started on Monday March 5th, just a couple of months after youth unemployment across the UK was shown to have risen to 20.2% - the highest since records began in 1992.
In those hundred days, 145 companies have pledged to give placements to 214 candidates, far exceeding the hopes of campaign organisers.
Peter Pawsey, Chairman of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, the body charged with attracting new business to the county, praised the campaign, and its role in getting businesses in the community thinking about apprenticeships.
Regional NAS Apprenticeship Director Karen Woodward says: “For young people just leaving school they provide an opportunity to earn a wage, gain valuable experience of the world of work and, vitally, gain recognised qualifications that will stand them in good stead for the future.
“For businesses they are a financially efficient way of bringing enthusiastic people into their workforce, giving them the chance to invest in the future of their companies.
“This has been an exceptional campaign and underlines the true motive behind the challenge – to begin a shift in attitudes towards apprenticeships and help individuals and businesses understand the benefits they can bring.”
During the campaign, the importance of apprenticeships remained high on the government's agenda, with a £1.5billion investment made to continue to develop the availability, quality and levels of apprenticeships of all kinds.