Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has launched its Apprenticeship Strategy.

Click here to view the strategy. Click here for a brief summary.

Hertfordshire’s long term economic trajectory is under threat. On current trends, Hertfordshire would slip out of the top ten LEPs for economic output per head by 2021; a fall of more than six places from its current fourth position.

Our approach to turning around Hertfordshire is to invest in people, places and business. We will invest in people by helping skills and training providers meet the demand for skills from employers.

Why skills are important to businesses in Hertfordshire...

Feedback from local employers tells us that access to a skilled workforce is fundamental to building a sustainable and growing economy:

• Over half of our employers identified skills gaps in their existing workforce;
• 55% considered that skills gaps were affecting competitiveness;
• Technical, practical or job specific (65%); sales/ marketing/ promotional/ PR (63%); advanced IT (57%); managerial (53%); customer handling (51%) were the principle areas affecting business productivity.

We plan to invest in the development of people...

We will work tirelessly with local education providers and business to increase the number of young people in possession of the requisite skills to make a difference in the workplace.

We have established a strong partnership group which has developed both a Skills Action Plan and an Apprenticeship Strategy for Young People (16-25).

As a result we will:

• Ensure young people under 19, who are capable, ready and wish to take up an apprenticeship, can do so by 2017.

And we will work towards achieving this by:

• Increasing apprenticeship opportunities – working with employers to understand the business benefits of the apprenticeship offer.
• Supporting potential apprentices – to ensure they are of the required calibre for business and to support young people into work.
• Ensuring quality provision by matching provision to business demand.
• Allocate £15m EU funding and leverage a further £15m public and private sector investment to deliver a £30m skills programme to deliver the LEP’s skills priorities including its support for apprenticeships.

Key Fact

• Regardless of the challenging economy, Hertfordshire has seen growth in Apprenticeships of over 600 starts in the past 2 years to over 7,000 new recruits in the past year.

• The biggest growth in Apprenticeship jobs through this period is in Advanced and Higher (degree equivalent) levels and this is encouraging as we raise the profile of Apprenticeships with young people, parents and employers as a serious career option.

• This week in Hertfordshire, there are 170 live Apprenticeship vacancies being advertised, but; this is tiny compared to over half of our employers telling us that they have identified skills gaps in their workforce

• Over 13,000 live active candidates searching in Hertfordshire for an Apprenticeship job.