Training provider Acacia Training has seen employer demand for apprentices rocket by almost 75 per cent during the first quarter of 2021.
In the first three months of the year, the Stoke-on-Trent company enrolled 450 new trainees across a range of courses – compared to 258 in the same period in 2020.
Acacia Training has now pledged to secure at least 1,800 apprentices by the end of the year, up to 500 kickstart placements for 18-24 year olds and enrol over 540 traineeship learners.
And thanks to Skills for Care Funding, Acacia Training will also support over 200 new recruits to gain rapid induction and retraining into the care sector where the skills shortage is acute.
CEO Victoria Sylvester said: “Given what the entire country has experienced in the past year, it is encouraging to see learners embark on new and exciting paths and reassuring to witness businesses recognise the value in supporting new and returning employees to gain greater skills.
“Here at Acacia, we are driven by our vision to make education accessible to everyone, ensure opportunities for career progression and to make a positive contribution to modern society.
“Education and training are fundamental to this and it is a very positive step to see the government increasing financial resources to help employers recruit and train staff through the combination of traineeships, the Kickstart Scheme which is proving popular, and greater funding for apprenticeships.”
As vice chair of the Staffordshire Partnership for Employment and Skills, Victoria works closely with local organisations in Staffordshire including Jobcentre Plus and Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to improve employment opportunities and help stimulate economic growth amongst the region’s employers.
Victoria added: “Whilst it’s been a challenging 12 months for us all, I am so proud of my team for adapting rapidly to what our learners and employer clients needed from us – not just in the health and social care profession which has been exceptionally busy – but also across our other sectors such as business, hair and beauty, dental nursing and leadership and management.”