Growth in West Sussex apprentices outstrips national average

Stephen Hillier, new West Sussex County Council cabinet member for children - start of life, welcomed the numbers of new apprentices
Stephen Hillier, new West Sussex County Council cabinet member for children - start of life, welcomed the numbers of new apprentices

The number of apprentices in West Sussex has outstripped the national average as more 16-18-year-olds are taking the opportunity to earn while they learn.

The news comes ahead of the West Sussex Apprenticeship Graduation at Chichester Cathedral this week and National Apprenticeship Week which is in its tenth year.

The year-on-year growth of new apprenticeships in the Coast to Capital area, which takes in West Sussex, Brighton and Hove and other parts of Surrey and East Sussex, is 8.7 percent compared to a national average of 1.9.

All of the regions have seen a rise except in Worthing where there were 50 fewer new apprentices living in the borough in 2015/16.

The largest increase was in the Chichester district, which saw yearly growth of more than 20 per cent.

Arun had the second largest increase at 9.6 per cent, followed by Horsham at 9.4 per cent, then Crawley at 9.1 per cent, and Mid Sussex 6.2 per cent.

Meanwhile Adur had an extra seven new apprenticeships, a 1.5 per cent increase.

Stephen Hillier, West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for children – start of life, said: “We have a hugely talented population in West Sussex so it is significant to see more and more people and using apprenticeships to enhance these skills and turn them into a profession.

“We will be looking more closely at Worthing over the next year to make more people aware of the number of opportunities which are already available in their area. We will also continue to promote apprenticeships in other regions alongside the district and borough councils.”

One of the areas of growth was people starting apprenticeships at the age of 25 or above as this increased by 15 percent from 5,079 to 5,847.

The biggest area of apprenticeships continues to be in health, public services and care which had 3,694 new apprenticeships in 2015/16.

But there has also been a substantial increase in the engineering and manufacturing technologies with a 45 percent increase from 1,301 in 2014/15 to 1,884 in 2015/16.

Mr Hillier added: “I look forward to hearing lots of inspiring stories next Tuesday at the West Sussex Apprenticeship Graduation which is only in its second year.

“Today there are around 500 apprenticeship vacancies within 20 miles of Horsham and there is also a range of apprenticeships in large national companies with applications open early spring so now is a good time for people to start considering their future.”

To find out more about apprenticeships in West Sussex visit the council’s website.

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