Graham visited Local Transport Projects (LTP), a Beverley-based highways engineering and design firm, to raise awareness for National Apprenticeship Week 2018 and congratulate the local firm on its recent growth.
Graham said he will back local businesses and wants more of them to offer apprenticeships as standard, given the nationwide push to deliver 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020. Over 1 million have already been created since 2015 and the take-up is rising each year.
Visiting the LTP Head Office in Flemingate, Graham praised the enterprise on their impressive expansion, with a second office recently opening in Manchester. He met Directors Tony Kirby and Andy Mayo to hear how LTP are partnering with East Riding College to provide Higher National Certificate (HNC) courses for local students interested in Civil Engineering. The nearest providers are currently in Leeds or Sheffield, making the courses inaccessible for the vast majority of young people in East Yorkshire.
LTP are members of the 5% Club, whose members pledge to provide at least 5% of their workforce with formal apprenticeships or graduate development schemes. Apprentices now form a key part of LTP’s structure and work on major projects with clients including Barratt Homes, the National Trust and the RSPB.
Graham said that the Government is helping to support businesses looking to take on an apprentice. The Government will pay 100% of training costs for small employers who take on apprentices aged 16 to 18, along with an additional £1,000 paid to employers who take on 16 to 24 year olds who have been in care or who have an education and health plan. Overall, more than £60 million will be invested in supporting the training of apprentices.
Graham said: “Apprenticeships are so valuable for a number of reasons. For apprentices, they are a terrific opportunity to get paid while developing your skills in a demanding and rewarding working environment. For employees, they attract talented and often local employees who have great potential to grow as the businesses does.
“I’m pleased to see the Government setting an ambitious target to deliver 3 million apprenticeships by 2020, and it’s great that local businesses like LTP are at the forefront of this campaign. Their partnership with East Riding College to provide vocational courses is very promising and should act as a template for businesses across all sectors.”
LTP Director, Tony Kirby, said: “We were delighted to host Graham and show him first-hand the great contribution that apprentices make to our company. Our recent expansion in Manchester was built on a strong team here at LTP, many of whom have progressed through apprenticeship or internship schemes. It is good to hear that Graham shares our view and that the Government continues to support apprentices into better, more-rewarding careers.”