CITY REGION AWARDS WINNER: Corporate Social Responsibility and Environment Award

John Reay and Richard Willis of One Barnsley and Richard Pilgrim of Inmotion!

John Reay and Richard Willis of One Barnsley and Richard Pilgrim of Inmotion!

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An initiative the rest of the UK can learn from has been has been named as the winner of the Corporate Social Responsibility and Environment Award.

One Barnsley, the local strategic partnership for the town, launched its Apprenticeship Pledge in 2013 as a response to high unemployment and low levels of education.

According to research, more than 30 per cent of people living in Barnsley held no formal qualifications.

Local businesses were asked to pledge to work towards employing 2.5 per cent of their workforce in apprenticeship positions.

After an extremely successful campaign there are now more than 600 apprentices employed by 150 companies in the area.

The Pledge not only provides skills for young people, but also provides businesses with the opportunity to expand.

The scheme had so much interest that it was opened to wider South Yorkshire and was even mentioned in the House of Commons by Dan Jarvis, Barnsley Central MP.

He said of the scheme: “This initiative highlights the fantastic partnership work taking place in the town to prepare our young people for the world of work.”

The Apprenticeship Pledge won the Community Impact Award at the Barnsley & Rotherham Business Awards last year.

The scheme is still dedicated to looking to a better future for the borough of Barnsley and aims to create a further 200 apprenticeships in 2016.