Challenge Of Delivering Apprenticeships Discussed

The challenges faced by young apprentices on the Isles of Scilly have been highlighted in a recent Council meeting.

Lifelong Learning Manager, Jo Evans, said the Government withdrew funding for vocational training in December and she said there is now a lack of funds for learners to travel to the mainland and also trainers and assessors to visit the islands.

She said they had contacted the Skills Funding Agency, the National Apprenticeship Service and the main further education colleges in Cornwall, but they’ve all said there is no money available.

Jo said they could reduce costs by using more islands-based trainers and work with the mainland providers to find newer, cheaper ways of delivering the training here.

Councillor Marian Bennett supported the recommendations, adding they should be very proactive in this area to support the local economy. She also felt they should continue to explore other avenues of funding and assistance.

Marian also felt the idea of clustering apprenticeships, by bringing different employers together to provide the training, could be the way forward. She said the Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership could help coordinate that.

The Council’s Children’s Lead, David Pearson, described the work as, “a no-brainer.” He said society would collapse if young people weren’t helped into work and adding we’re in the fortunate position of having some, “very good young people” compared to some in the big cities on the mainland.

Councillors agreed that Jo should continue to explore ways to deliver apprenticeships on the islands.