Apprentices studying at City of Wolverhampton College are to receive a financial boost to help with cost of living expenses, thanks to a grant from City of Wolverhampton Council.
The college has received £75,000 from the council’s household support fund with 254 apprentices, who have Wolverhampton postcodes, each set to receive a one-off payment of around £300 which can be used to help with costs associated with work, such as travel, clothing and food.
The scheme is being launched this week, during National Apprenticeship Week (5-11 February), with apprentices being contacted by their workplace assessors with details of how to claim the funding through the college’s Student Hubs.
Mal Cowgill, principal of the college, said: “An apprenticeship is a great way to get on the career ladder and gain the skills and knowledge employers need by learning on-the-job in the workplace.
“We know, however, that the costs associated with working – such as travelling to and from the workplace, purchasing work-appropriate clothing, or buying food to eat during the working day – is a concern to some apprentices and, therefore, we are extremely grateful to the council for supporting them by providing this funding.”
Kieran Ford, aged 18, from Coseley, who is a business apprentice in the college’s procurement team, said: “I was really pleased when I was told about the grant from the household support fund to help with expenses associated with my apprenticeship.
“As I work in a business environment it’s important that I dress smartly and the funding will enable me to purchase some additional work clothes which I will also be able to wear when attending interviews and work-related events in the future.”
The council is a strong supporter of apprenticeship programmes and works with city partners to develop apprenticeship opportunities.
During 2023 the council recruited another 48 new apprentices across various council service areas, maintained schools and local SMEs, including roles in health and safety, occupational therapy, governance, legal, transport, public health and wellbeing, libraries and city investment.
Councillor Stephen Simkins, leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “We have seen from experience how apprenticeships can really work and lead to fulfilling careers, but we also understand these are difficult times with the cost of living crisis making it hard for everyone.
“We don’t want young people to lose out on the chance of training for a great career which could set them up for life through an apprenticeship, because current cost of living pressures might be making it hard for them financially.
“We are determined to give citizens in our city the best chances we can and I hope this funding will enable apprentices to reach their full potential.”
City of Wolverhampton College offers over 50 apprenticeship standards in a range of industry areas – from automotive to teaching and education – and is currently training around 600 apprentices working for employers in the West Midlands and beyond.
Get details of all apprenticeships offered by the college here