The Duke of York launches the Leeds City Region Apprenticeship Challenge
His Royal Highness The Duke of York, KG, visited Leeds City Region to encourage more small businesses to recruit apprentices, as part of wider moves to boost young people’s skills and kick-start economic growth.
His Royal Highness met apprentices, students, small businesses, civic leaders and private sector business representatives from Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) during a one-day tour in Leeds on Tuesday 4 March.
The Duke of York launched the Leeds City Region Apprenticeship Challenge, which aims to increase the number of SMEs offering apprenticeships by 1,000 during the next financial year.
His Royal Highness’s current portfolio is to assist with the creation of skilled jobs and the economic success of the United Kingdom and covers education and skills, science and engineering, and small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurship. The Royal visit to Leeds also coincided with National Apprenticeship Week.
Roger Marsh, Chair of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, said: “We welcome the Duke of York’s visit to the region to highlight the importance of investing time and resources into our young people and showcase the fantastic apprentice opportunities our region boasts.
“This visit will kick-start Apprenticeship Week 2014 and help businesses in the region understand the benefits an apprentice can bring to their workforce, whilst at the same time giving a young person a step-up on to the career ladder. The LEP is committed to encouraging more SMEs to take on apprentices to tackle youth unemployment and generate economic growth for the regional and national economy.”
His Royal Highness started the day meeting apprentices and students at Leeds College of Building’s Stourton site, before meeting further apprentices at Leeds City College’s new £26 million Printworks campus on Hunslet Road.
His Royal Highness officially opened the new building before attending a business lunch and debate with the LEP Board to discuss their aspirations and priorities for the region.
In the afternoon, HRH The Duke of York addressed SMEs and met apprentices at a business conference held at the Royal Armouries in Leeds, which was organised by the LEP, and launched the Leeds City Region Apprenticeship Challenge. His Royal Highness then took time to congratulate apprentice nominees and their employers attending the Leeds Apprenticeship Awards Ceremony at Leeds Civic Hall.
Official photography from all of the visits can be viewed in the gallery section.