A pioneering Apprenticeship Academy has been launched at Barnfield College Luton by two Government ministers.
The Barnfield Apprenticeship Academy, believed to be the first in the country, is aimed at creating hundreds of new apprenticeships in Luton and surrounding areas.
The Academy was launched by Lord McKenzie of Luton and Lord Young, Minister for Postal Affairs and Employment Relations, at a special ceremony at the College.
Pete Birkett, Barnfield’s Chief Executive, said: “It brings together all our apprenticeship training under one integrated roof – public sector and traditional apprenticeships and our Apprenticeship Training Agency.
“It is a one-stop shop for employers and students to access apprenticeships.”
Last year, the College employed 12 apprentices directly and the Barnfield consortium, which includes the University of Bedfordshire, the two Barnfield Academies and other Luton schools, took on a total of 23 apprentices.
Pete Birkett, who is the national apprenticeship champion for further education, said: “We can help deliver the Government’s promise to get young people back into work or give them work experience, delivering the key skills that employers need.”
Barnfield’s innovative Apprenticeship Training Agency takes away from employers any concerns about hiring apprentices.
It will allow apprentices to work for multiple employers on short contracts without firms having to commit to a full apprenticeship programme. The agency employs them and rents them out to employers as just-in-time labour, then they return to the agency.
Barnfield will offer apprenticeships in construction, education, retail, hospitality, logistics and health.