The game is on for ‘100 in 100’, the competition. It's friendly rivalry between Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill and Newmarket for a new trophy awarded to the first town that creates 100 new apprenticeship opportunities during National Apprenticeship Week.

The battle of the towns launches on Tuesday March 6 and finishes 100 working days later at the end of July.

West Suffolk College’s Phil Stittle, director of business development, explained that the competition is a coming together of all those promoting business growth and apprenticeships to employers. “We have 3,500 applications for apprenticeships but only 500 suitable job vacancies. Companies in these three towns can help create jobs and opportunities for so many people and improve and grow their businesses. Plus it’s a great chance for apprentices to find employment in their own towns.”

The three way competition is being supported by Bury and Newmarket BID, One Haverhill Partnership, New Anglia LEP, Greater Cambridgeshire Greater Peterborough LEP,Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath District Councils.

It’s hoped the opportunities created by local business will be in all different sectors from engineering, accountancy, childcare and hairdressing among others. The towns want both large and small companies to step up and see what could be available to them.

The event will be launched on:

March 6th in the Tack Room at Newmarket

March 7th the Jobs Fair at West Suffolk College

8th March at the Arts Centre in Haverhill

Everyone can find out more here at website during Apprenticeship week, which will also keep a running tally of how each town is doing.

Here are some Apprenticeship facts from West Suffolk College;

• We have 1,562 Apprentices in learning compared to 1,439 at the same time last year
• We are supporting 863 employers
• £188.09 per week is our average vacancy salary which is £58.59 more than the national minimum wage for apprentices
• Biggest subject area of growth is Construction
• Currently, our Apprenticeship recruitment is bucking the declining National trend and we are experiencing growth of 12.5% against last year.
• We are working with over 80 Levy Paying Employers