Apprentices and employers who have been affected by the virus lockdown have been encouraged to contact a support service run by a West Midlands training company.
PTP Training Ltd, which trades as Performance Through People, is an experienced provider of training contracts at employers across the region.
Through the Greater Birmingham Ladder initiative, PTP is working in partnership with the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP (GBSLEP) to participate in a triage-style business service that supports apprenticeships during the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic.
Gill Durkin, business development director at PTP Training, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with GBSLEP to make sure any existing apprenticeships or opportunities for new contracts don’t fall through the cracks created by Covid-19.
“Our triage-style service can help employers continue training staff who might have previously been on apprenticeship programmes but who have since been furloughed.
“We can also help to match off-programme apprentices, or those who have been made redundant, to new vacancies that have become available.
“There is plenty of information and guidance through this service to assist apprentices as they search for new roles or look to develop skills.”
She added: “We can also provide employers with recruitment advice, and other apprenticeship training providers can be supported to help coordinate filling vacancies and communicate with at-risk or recently lost apprentices.”
Helen Higson, chairwoman of the GBSLEP’s employment and skills board, explained at the launch of the new service how apprenticeships played a huge and vital role in boosting the economy of the region.
She said: “Collaboration and close partnership working, as seen with the launch of these triage services, are crucial in ensuring the development of more employer-led programmes. They also create new opportunities for learners.
“Covid-19 has had a profound impact on businesses across all sectors and we want to make sure we are giving employers every chance to retain staff and encourage apprentices to develop skills to help them become the next generation of leaders in their respective industries.”