A project aimed at creating more than 500 jobs in Bradford is up and running. The Bradford Apprenticeship Training Agency (ATA) is a new company that will employ a pool of apprentices and hire them out to small and medium-sized businesses in the district. It is part of the Get Bradford Working initiative and has been set up by Bradford Council and Bradford College. Supporters – including the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), Lime People Training Services and the Council – gathered for an event organised by the Yorkshire Enterprise Network (YEN) at Malik House in Bradford last night as the scheme got off to a positive start.
Council officer Terry Davis is in charge of the Get Bradford Working scheme and the Bradford ATA. He said: “It is an exciting new venture in Bradford that will be opening in the city centre within the next few weeks. It will create over 500 new apprenticeship places in Bradford. We want to speak to businesses about creating new apprenticeship places.” Mo Mayat, employer accounts manager at NAS, said: “Apprenticeships have been on the increase over the years. With support from local employers, I believe we can make a dent in unemployment numbers. With apprentices, they are young, have fresh ideas, and they can be moulded to the company’s ways of working so that they are ready for that industry. It gets them hands-on experience and it is a great way to upskill your workforce.” Mark Miller and Claire Hibbert, director and managing director respectively of Lime, backed the ATA.
Mr Miller said: “Any scheme is a good scheme if it gets people into work. And apprenticeships can cover lots of things, not just a trade. They really work – we are really excited about the initiative.” Sheraz Malik, a director at YEN, said: “It is very exciting. We know the issues with unemployment in the city. Hopefully this can give a boost and get people into work. If you give apprentices an opportunity they can really flourish/”
“They are very keen to learn and develop. This is a good opportunity to get into work and careers they want.” The Bradford ATA will employ a pool of apprentices, pay their wages, administer all national insurance, tax and payroll, hire out apprentices for a weekly rate, screen and shortlist potential recruits and arrange for a training provider. An ATA spokesman added: “The ATA is a way of helping companies to employ apprentices on an agency basis, minimising the risk.”