Pioneering IT Traineeships for Young People Launched in Wakefield

Young people across Wakefield have the opportunity to step up to the plate for a career in the lucrative IT sector thanks to Baltic Training Services, the company which recently launched the UK’s first IT traineeships.

Baltic Training Services has partnered with Wakefield Council and several local employers to launch the region’s first IT traineeship targeting young people across Wakefield, ideally aged 16 or above.

The IT traineeships are designed to provide a bridge between education and employers, to give young people the skills and confidence that employers are looking for and to encourage employers to give more young people the opportunity to enter the IT sector.

Two major local employers' Airedale Computer Recycling and Arena Group have already signed up to the programme and more are being sought. Their role is to offer support to trainees in the form of work placements with the promise of apprenticeships at the end for those who make the grade.

Peter Maskill workshop manager at Wakefield-based Arena Group, an office equipment supplier, said:

“Young people today are not being offered the same opportunity to get work experience and gain customer facing skills so a course like this is worth its weight in gold. We will be helping the trainees by providing work experience in the final four weeks of the 10 week course and we are always keen to talk to outstanding candidates about apprenticeships.”

Louise Ball, Baltic Training Services operations director, said:

“IT is a difficult industry for people with no knowledge of the sector to break in to but the rewards for those that do are massive. Every business now is reliant on an effective IT strategy and the IT industry in general is looking for new recruits to fuel increasing expansion.

“The problem is that without any prior experience new recruits need a high degree of supervision. What these traineeships do is provide an excellent grounding in the basics so that individuals starting as apprentices can be much more effective in the workplace as soon as they arrive.

“We are looking for enthusiastic young people who are looking to break into IT and it is something that has worked very effectively for us in the North East where the programme was launched and we now have a regular stream of trainees who are working as apprentices for numerous employers.”

Keith Sorrell, development manager for Airedale Computers, a computer recycling social enterprise, said:

“Apprenticeships are the foundation of our business and we usually have about six at any one time working between our three sites in Airedale, Pontefract and Castleford. The hardest part is identifying the best recruits in the first place and this new programme which gives the trainee work experience at our premises will really help us with that.”  

Wakefield Council has fully endorsed the new programme and is providing the training room facilities for the traineeship at County Hall as part of its commitment.

Cllr Denise Jeffery, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Skills at Wakefield Council, said:

“IT is an exciting growth area and courses like this offer our young people a real opportunity to learn new skills and develop their careers.

“These training opportunities can lead to apprenticeships which provide young people with the chance to further develop their skills. Apprenticeships also offer many benefits to employers to help them develop their workforce in the skills they need to grow  their business. This in turn helps to support and strengthen the local economy.”

There is a recruitment drop-in event happening on Friday 31 July between 2pm and 4pm at Unity Works, Westgate, Wakefield, WF1 1EP. All are welcome.

If you are an employer based in the Wakefield area who would like to get involved or an interested young person who needs further information please call 01325 731065 or email yourfuture@baltictraining.com 

CLICK HERE to access Baltic's registration page

Picture: Trainees with (on the far right) Louise Ball operations director at Baltic Training Services