A DIP in the number of apprenticeships being delivered in the UK has lead two local enterprise partnerships to join forces to boost regional figures.

Major employers, colleges, universities and training providers were at a cross regional event held recently by the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership and Humber Local Enterprise Partnership.

The event, staged at Askham Bryan College, near York, came soon after data from the Department for Education showed a dip in the number of apprenticeships delivered nationally since the levy reforms were introduced in April 2017.

Attended by more than 30 partners, the event was supported by the Institute of Apprenticeships which shared its plans to modify and improve on apprenticeship accreditation, working more closely with partners to reduce bureaucracy and duplication.

Skills and Employability board member Ruth Smith from the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership said: “Local colleges and training providers reported that contrary to the national decline they are still seeing high levels of demand and enthusiasm from local employers who see apprenticeships as a great opportunity to address skills.”

At the event, local business leader Nestle discussed its approach in appointing apprenticeships and demonstrated how this has enabled the firm to embed apprenticeships into its workforce planning.

The North York Moors National Park also provided case studies on how young apprentices had completed training and moved into a variety of regional roles, while the University of Hull spoke about its experiences collaborating with partners to develop higher and degree apprenticeships.

Speaking on behalf of the Education and Skills Funding Agency, head of Intervention Clive Howarth, said the organisation wants to support employers, training providers and colleges to consider the development of new apprenticeship pathway.

In addition to the event, in a bid to help businesses make sense of the apprenticeship levy brought in by the government, the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership’s growth hub How’s Business, produced a toolkit with videos including advice from Apprentice Programme Lead Jill Coyle at Nestle, which can be found at www.hubs.ly/H09FwmS0