Major boost for Northumberland business generation

Northumberland businesses are being given a major boost.

And leading training provider JTL is keen that those providing services – in electrics, plumbing, heating and ventilation as well as engineering maintenance – receive their fair share.

Arch, the Northumberland Development Company, in conjunction with Northumberland County Council, has been awarded £11.75million from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund that will encourage the creation of new sustainable jobs as well as safeguarding existing ones.

The plan is to grow skills in the region and accelerate inward investment.

A key goal of the Northumberland Business Growth Programme is to increase the number of technical apprenticeships provided by Northumberland businesses in the engineering and manufacturing sectors.

This means a subsidy for training and employing a person that could amount to £12,000 over the full period of the apprenticeship. There is no restriction on the upper-age limit for recruiting.

The scheme is ideally placed to benefit electrical companies looking to add to their existing plans of apprenticeship employment.

The first two of the full four-year Level 3 training would be covered by £6,000 per annum support, provided the employer can produce evidence to sustain the apprenticeship for the concluding two years. This funding would represent the major cost of the training or be used in support of wages.

In the case of plumbing and heating apprenticeships, those at Level 3 would receive the same generous terms as for electrical, while a Level 2 award would attract up to £3,500 for each of the two years, with the hope that a successful individual could go forward to Level 3.

To be eligible, businesses must be engineering or manufacturing-related; based in the area or planning to relocate to Northumberland; and they would need to recruit an apprentice from a local post code. Funding must be drawn down by the RGF deadline of March 31, 2015.

“We will be working hard to ensure that employers in the different parts of building services engineering know about this tremendous opportunity,” said Stafford Sneddon, JTL regional training officer. “As well as helping build sales in both new and existing forms by adding to the skills base of the business, the initiative will assist the long-term economic fortunes of Northumberland by building a skills base that will attract more business and help expand the existing sector.”