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Sheffield lays claim to highest number of apprentices

According to new figures from the Department of Education, Sheffield lays claim to the highest number of young people in apprenticeships in England.

Out of all of England’s ‘core cities’, Sheffield came top in the chart of the number of people aged under 25 who were employed in an apprentice capacity.

The city recorded 7.8 per cent of young people in work-based training roles, putting it streets ahead of the second highest placed city, Liverpool, which had 5.6 per cent of young people in such roles. The third highest ranked city, Leeds, had just 5 per cent employed in apprenticeship positions.

The figures are positive news, coming alongside recent reports from Sheffield Council that revealed a reduction in the number of NEETs – 16 to 24 year olds not in employment, education or training. Currently, 6.5 per cent of young people living in the city fall into this category, making it the first time the figure has fallen below the 7 per cent mark.

Some of the reasons behind this drop include the implementation of a number of new schemes, including The Star newspaper-backed Apprentice Challenge, which offered to part-subsidise employers to pay for the wage of a young apprentice.

Another reason behind the drop in the number of NEETS was the recently introduced Skills Made Easy programme, rolled out by the local council, which is aiming to create 400 extra apprenticeships in Sheffield.

Cabinet member for business, Coun Leigh Bramall, told The Star: “The council’s commitment to apprenticeships and related programmes is good for the business community - helping to deliver the right skills to grow our economy and attract future investment.

“This helps to provide a positive future for our young people. It represents real action on our priorities to be business-friendly and focus on jobs. This is a track record the city and its young people can be proud of.”