October 9, 2020 @ 11:50 by Alison Cowie
A hundred new apprenticeships across the Tees Valley have been created thanks to a £1 million Emergency Apprenticeship Fund.
The fund was opened in June to ensure that young people aged 16 to 20 were not left behind as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. It has now closed after 100 companies created new apprentice roles in everything from GP surgeries and bioengineering to construction and railway and locomotive manufacturing.
To see first-hand the impact the funding has had on local businesses, Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen visited Darlington-based North Bay Railway Engineering Services to meet its new apprentice, 18-year-old Jack Laverick from Saltburn.
Mayor Houchen said: “Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for our young people to get the vital experience they need on their path to a rewarding career, while making sure our job creators, innovators and entrepreneurs have the skills at their disposal to succeed. This is all the more important during these uncertain and difficult times.
“Although this fund has come to an end, our ongoing Apprenticeship Support Grant scheme for businesses is still up and running to help those who are still considering taking on a new apprentice.”