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11th February 2022

NEPO’s commitment to achieve the apprenticeship ambitions in the region

To mark the end of National Apprenticeship Week 2022, we hear from Simon Hanson about NEPO's commitment to achieve the apprenticeship ambitions in the region:

"It’s been brilliant to see the celebration of apprentices and the crucial role apprenticeships play across the region this week.

Apprenticeships are a great way to start a long-term career. At NEPO we have seen the direct benefits of apprenticeships. Our Managing Director and two of our Procurement Specialists started their procurement careers in this way. We will continue to invest in apprenticeships to ensure we are attracting the best people into public procurement.

Over the past three years there have been 58,600 apprenticeships started across the North East. These started by organisations of all sizes, from all sectors and from all parts of the region. As we emerge from the pandemic it’s crucial that we continue to create apprenticeships across the public, private and the third sectors. Doing this will help people from all communities across the region achieve their ambitions in ways that might never have been thought of. Whether that is in the tech sector, the emerging green sector or manufacturing we know there are going be skills gaps in the coming years.

To start filling some of those gaps we’ve seen NEPO suppliers step up to this challenge and commit to starting apprenticeships as part of their social value commitments. Bloom, Corona, Esh Group, OilNRG, Vallpak and 1st Coverall will be delivering these in communities across the region. Over the past 18 months we’ve seen some tangible results including 350 apprenticeship weeks that Esh delivered as part of SSTC3.

Our work doesn’t happen in a vacuum. We’re working with regional partners, including the North East LEP, North of Tyne Combined Authority and the Tees Valley Combined Authority, to achieve the apprenticeship ambitions in the North East and Tees Valley. Increasing apprenticeships, including those in low carbon, is one of the main social value priorities across the region.

As a region we’ve got a great track record of starting apprenticeships and helping people achieve their career ambitions. Whether it’s helping deliver levelling up or achieving net zero, apprenticeships will play a massive role.

We’ve got a great opportunity to lead the way nationally on this.

Let’s get going!"

Simon Hanson, Economic Development & Policy Manager at NEPO