Southampton City Council Leader and the Chancellor of the Exchequer praise the work of the Solent Apprenticeship Hub

Leader of the council, Councillor Christopher Hammond, has joined the Chancellor of the Exchequer, The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak, to pay tribute to the hard work of the Solent Apprenticeship Hub (the Hub).

Rishi Sunak Councillor HammondThe praise was given during a networking event organised by the Hub for large levy paying employers across the region, which took place on Friday 12 February as part of National Apprenticeship Week.

The council is proud to be the lead partner of the Hub, which offers a free, high quality, impartial service to employers and individuals on apprenticeships.

The Hub also runs the innovative Transfer to Transform scheme which was created to enable larger businesses to support SMEs by reallocating unused funding for apprenticeship training to smaller organisations. Since the scheme started just over seven months ago, an exceptional £1,275,000 has been pledged by large employers, with over £1m already distributed across 77 different SMEs in the region, resulting in 87 apprentice starts. The Hub remains confident that more is to come as success of this scheme amplifies across the business community.  

As well as providing apprenticeship advice and coordinating the Transfer to Transform scheme, the Hub is also advising and supporting local businesses on the government’s Kickstart scheme.

In his introduction at the event, the Leader of the Council, Councillor Christopher Hammond said: “As a council we’re focussing on driving towards greener, fairer and healthier city for everyone. Our economic recovery needs to put our residents first and be at the heart of what we do.

“This is the most challenging time for young people to get their first job or who may need to switch their careers due to economic disruption. It’s vital that young people know what support is available in these difficult times to help them utilise the opportunities that are available. We are determined to avoid a generation of young people being abandoned and consigned to the scrapheap and apprenticeships are an important part of our recovery”

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, said: “I recognise the determination that all apprentices, employers and training providers have shown over the last year to overcome the many challenges of Covid-19. 

“The Solent Apprenticeship Hub has shown fantastic initiative in developing its own networks, both locally and across the country. It is thanks to local businesses that apprenticeships in Southampton will continue to expand, driving growth, creating jobs and aiding our economic recovery.”