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Tresham’s pledge to combat local unemployment



l-r Rachel Kay (Deputy Principal at Tresham), Mayoress and Mayor of Wellingborough – Cllr Ken Harrington, Cllr Tom Beattie (Corby Borough Council), Stuart Wesselby (Principal at Tresham), Rob Purdie – Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (sitting), Karen Woodward (National Apprenticeship Service), Cllr Barry Graves (Wellingborough Borough Council) and Norman Stronach (Acting Chief Executive Corby Borough Council).

TRESHAM College of Further & Higher Education and its employer-responsive arm, Evolve Business Training, have demonstrated a clear commitment to improving the skills levels of the local community, by introducing a far-reaching new apprenticeship pledge, the Tresham Skills Pledge.

Aimed at reducing the growing number of ‘NEETS’ – people Not in Education, Employment or Training – in the North Northamptonshire region where 13% of young people are NEET in Corby alone, the Tresham Pledge will give individuals from all backgrounds the same opportunities to access and obtain valid work experience, and a vocationally-relevant qualification to help begin their careers on the firmest possible footing.

Devised by Principal, Stuart Wesselby and Managing Director, Rachel Kay, and endorsed by a growing number of businesses and organisations across the region, the Tresham Pledge aims to transform the local employment scene and significantly increase apprenticeship provision in Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough. The Tresham Pledge is committed to making it easier for companies, both large and small, to accommodate apprentices, harness and hone local talent and gain access to government funding.

On Wednesday 14th November representatives from Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, who have supported the college by donating £30,000), Wellingborough Borough Council, Corby Borough Council and the National Apprenticeship Service signed the Tresham Skills Pledge which aims to create significantly more apprenticeship places in Northamptonshire by December 2013.

The Tresham Pledge will be led by Evolve Business Training, which will act as an on-going recruitment and support mechanism. Multiple companies across the region have already made their commitment to the Pledge, which is open to any business in Northamptonshire wishing to develop its employees with work-based qualifications, or recruit new staff to receive industry-relevant, tailored training whilst they work.

The courses on offer via the Tresham Pledge will range from Construction to Creative Arts & Media, and anybody can become an apprentice regardless of age or previous work experience, from school-leavers to adults already engaged in full-time employment.

Heading up the Pledge for Evolve Business Training is Managing Director and Deputy College Principal Rachel Kay, who is delighted with the level of commitment shown already:
“To receive the unequivocal support of some of the region’s major companies is an amazing endorsement of the Pledge and helps to lay the strongest possible groundwork for its success. Now we’re looking to attract even more businesses, across the entire industrial and commercial scale, introduce them to the tried-and-tested concept of apprenticeships and encourage them to commit fully to vocationally-relevant training for NEETS, young learners and, indeed, people currently within their own workforce.”

Where a company is not yet engaged in training, Evolve will provide comprehensive support and expert guidance, by undertaking a detailed organisational needs analysis, writing up a full training proposal and identifying potential NEETS and young learners who could enrol on an apprenticeship with them.

Additionally, Evolve Business Training will offer companies the opportunity to take on a work placement, giving them the scope to trial new trainees and benefit from the College’s entry apprenticeships model in the future.

“Despite the continued evolution and transformation of North Northamptonshire,” concludes College Principal, Stuart Wesselby, “parts of the region still suffer from significant levels of socio-economic deprivation and a general sense of disenfranchisement, particularly amongst the unemployed, school-leavers and young adults. The Tresham Pledge has been devised to combat this problem head on, and the fantastic support it’s received already, proves that regional companies are committed to growing the local economy, by improving the skills of the local workforce. Moreover, it demonstrates that these employers are waking up to the clear business benefits that apprenticeships present.”

For more information about the Tresham Pledge and Evolve Business Training please contact 01536 419570.


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