Employers in Bolton will have the chance to develop their workforce thanks to a new apprenticeship grant for smaller businesses and tailored business support.
Up to £3,000 of funding is available to any SME that creates a new job opportunity by taking on an apprentice.
Bolton is third among local authorities in Greater Manchester when it comes to creating new apprenticeships and tops the table for retention and achievement.
The new grant funding, provided by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), is designed to encourage even more local businesses to make a positive addition to their workforce.
Adam Lawson Joinery Ltd took on 19-year-old Callum Harwood as part of a Carpentry and Joinery Level 3 Apprenticeship through Bolton College.
“Having Callum on site has been a huge benefit. He’s here to learn, but at the same time he really helps to move jobs along,” said Mr Lawson.
“It’s also good to give something back to society and give a young person a chance in life.
“The construction industry definitely needs more apprentices, at the moment I don’t think there’s enough coming through which is a shame, as they can only benefit the industry.”
Callum said: “Working on site has given me so many practical skills and has really prepared me for work in the future.
“In Bolton College, the experience has been great. The tutors are so knowledgeable, and I’ve picked up a lot of skills from them too.
“Once I finish my Apprenticeship, I’d like to stick in the joinery trade and eventually have people working for me.”
Bolton Council’s Deputy Leader Martyn Cox said: “We have an excellent record in Bolton when it comes to taking on and developing apprentices, and the SME support grant is a great opportunity to build on that success.
“An experienced and well-trained workforce is vital for the future of the local economy and we are particularly keen to engage with sectors where we know there is a skills gap.
“GMCA has awarded Business Bolton the second highest amount for the SME support grant and we are aiming to see 50 new quality apprenticeships created in Bolton by next year.”
For more information on the grant funding and to register, visit businessbolton.org/SMEapprenticeships.