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22 October 2013

Dacorum businesses back call for more apprentices

Dacorum businesses joined forces at Shendish Manor in October for the launch of a

new scheme to increase the number of apprentices across the borough.

Top up grants totalling £51,000 will be available to encourage businesses in Dacorum

to take on an apprentice.

Lisa Devayya, Learning and Skills Officer at Dacorum Borough Council, explained:

“These grants will be in addition to other apprenticeship funding currently available

and includes extra funding for businesses taking on an apprentice not currently in

employment, education or training.”

Around 40 employers taking on their first apprentice will receive a grant of £1,200

to help towards the apprentice’s salary. This amount will rise to £2,700 if the person

comes from a vulnerable background.

Mike Penning MP for Hemel Hempstead, newly appointed minister for Work and

Pensions, is supporting the scheme, in partnership with Dacorum Borough Council,

in order to increase access to apprenticeships and help boost jobs and training

opportunities for local young people.

“Every young person has dreams,” he explained and “apprenticeships can open up

opportunities for them. For those who are unemployed with no skills, it is a failure of


Andy Cook, managing director of Hemel Hempstead-based digital imaging company

FFEI and a former apprentice himself, said: “I started out as an apprentice and it’s

how many businesses develop.

“Staff at FFEI describe apprenticeships as ‘business parenting’ because they

contribute to the development of their apprentice.”

Businesses heard how with the right experience, connections and understanding

young people can be moulded and bring benefits including growth, renewal,

innovation, motivation and competition.

Kelly Jagger, Head of Work Based Learning at West Herts College, explained how its

own apprenticeship programme “motivated staff and increased job satisfaction”.

The Paper Trail explained how it offers a ‘first step’ for its apprentices and provides

them with quality training. Hertsmere Leisure Centre revealed how many of its full

time paid positions often start out as apprenticeships.

South West Hertfordshire MP David Gauke concluded with a rallying call to Dacorum

businesses to “do the right thing, take on an apprentice”.

For further information about the Dacorum Apprenticeship Scheme contact Lisa

Devayya on 01442 228396 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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