By Drain Doctor on 28/04/2016

A skills gap in key trades including plumbing is draining the resources of construction companies, maintenance firms and local authorities.

In a bid to address the problem and plug the gap Oxford City Council has developed a scheme for 16-20 year olds to recruit young people for a range of apprenticeships including plumbers, gas engineers and electricians.

The council’s Apprentice Programme Co-ordinator, Jarlath Brine said: “Oxford City Council has a strong apprenticeship culture, with a track record of “growing our own”: investing in, supporting and developing talented young people living in the city with a range of careers that not many employers can match. There are no magic ingredients, but if you have a great attitude, the drive, passion and commitment for learning and self-development, come and “earn while you learn”. It’s telling that over 80 per cent of people who have completed an apprenticeship with us stay and develop their careers with us”.

The council said its approach is to develop young people’s careers, growing local talent by developing high quality and sustainable apprenticeships. Apprentices become ambassadors for the programme and are given the chance to mentor other young people and share their experiences at events.