Principal welcomes apprenticeship rise

Chief Executive and Principal of South Leicestershire College, Marion Plant OBE, has welcomed the news that the popularity of apprenticeships is growing after it was confirmed that the number of young people choosing to ‘earn while they learn’ in the area has topped 5,000 since 2010.


A total of 5,020 young people have been signed up to apprenticeships in South Leicestershire alone in the last five years, according to Government statistics, part of a wider rise across the East Midlands.

Mrs Plant, who is also Chair of the LLEP People Group, believes there is also scope for more growth in this area, especially as apprenticeships offer such significant benefits for small, medium and large businesses.

“The benefits for companies who take on apprentices are well-documented; apprenticeships boost productivity to business by an average of £214 a week, while nearly nine out of ten of all employers have reported that apprenticeships have helped their business to improve the quality of their product or service,” she said.

“But actually it’s more than that. A lot of companies are unaware that existing employees can benefit from this type of funding if they are 23 or under. You don’t have to enrol on the ‘traditional’ apprenticeship; you can use the opportunity for the employee to gain new skills and a recognised qualification at no real cost to the business.

“At South Leicestershire College, we work with a number of businesses who choose this approach, it really is a ‘win-win’ for the companies and employees,” added Mrs Plant.

As well as marking a rise in the number of young people signing up for apprentices, recent statistics have underlined that 90% of apprentices stay in employment when they finish their course, with seven out of ten staying with the same employer.