More than 2,000 budding apprentices turned out for Lancashire’s largest ever Apprenticeship recruitment event on Tuesday 14thMarch at the Guild Hall in Preston.
The free event attracted major national employers including Sainsbury’s, BT and the NHS, as well as many other large organisations including BAE Systems, Leyland Trucks and Lancashire County Council.
Around 50 employers exhibited at the event, collectively bringing hundreds of Apprenticeship vacancies spanning healthcare, business, engineering, construction and much more.
Each of the Apprenticeships offer a chance to earn while you learn, gaining valuable work experience, transferable skills and nationally-recognised qualifications from Level 2 to Level 7.
Tamara Bloechliger, learning and development specialist at Sika Limited, said: “Today has been really exciting. We’ve got to meet a lot of people and young talent interested in Apprenticeships in all different sectors such as plumbing, engineering, business admin and customer service. We’ve talked to so many intelligent young people and hope to receive a lot of applications for our positions.”
Jacqueline Higham, widening participation manager at the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, added: “The amount of people that have turned up has been great. We’ve seen some keen, enthusiastic potential apprentices and had so many register their interest for roles with us.
“We’ve targets set to recruit 250 apprentices a year and currently, around 90% of our apprentices continue into long-term employment with us.”
An exhibitor for BT, said: “We’ve talked to such a different mixture of people looking for Apprenticeships. We’re on the hunt for around 110 apprentices across the North West, including roles in consumer customer service, fleet technician, network engineering and ICT cyber security, which is a new side of the business.”
The event was run in partnership with Preston’s College, University of Central Lancashire, Lancashire Constabulary, Office of Police & Crime Commissioner (OPCC) and Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Andrew Richardson, lead organiser of the event, concluded: “We couldn’t have asked for a better turnout. The benefits of an Apprenticeship are well documented and it was great to see so many people, especially soon-to-be school-leavers and their parents, showing an interest in Apprenticeships.
“Academic or vocational study routes which lead on to University isn’t the right choice for everyone. The Expo was there to highlight the growing market for Apprenticeships across Lancashire as well as the value in good training alongside employment.
“Each of the exhibitors have a solid reputation for apprentice training and career progression and we wish everyone the best of luck with their applications.”