Bristol Evening Post apprenticeships scheme hits goal of 100 on first day
THE Evening Post's campaign to get Bristol's businesses to take on 100 apprentices in 100 days achieved its goal on the very first day – inside 100 minutes.
At the launch of the Post's apprenticeships challenge last night, 13 organisations pledged to take on exactly 100 apprentices, helping change the lives of young people in our area.
These ranged from Bristol City Council – the city's largest employer – to smaller companies like disabled access equipment supplier Dolphin Lifts and medical insurers Best Health UK, which both employ five members of staff
and are each looking for one apprentice.
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After discovering the Post had achieved its goal, editor Mike Norton said: "It is fantastic that we have secured 100 apprenticeships on the very first day but we want to drive on and get as many more as possible.
"The fact that we got 100 so quickly proves what a need there is for apprentices, and we are going to carry on for the next 99 days and get as many more as we can."
Businesses searching for advice on apprenticeships met representatives from 14 training providers during the event at City of Bristol College's refectory at College Green, where apprentices explained what the schemes meant to them.
Launching the campaign, Mr Norton said: "It's quite an ambitious goal but we know there's a huge need for it. The point of our campaign is to bring employer and employee together."
Mr Norton said the modern apprenticeship scheme was a "highly flexible, highly effective 21st-century work and training programme".
The Post's campaign received the backing of Bristol City Council, the biggest employer of apprentices in the South West.
It has taken on 65 apprentices, and last night deputy chief executive Jon House said it was looking for 30 more.
He said: "Of the 65 we already have, seven have gone on to get full-time jobs with the council.
"Half of that 65 have passed their NVQ level 2, and most are going on to study for level 3."
Mr House said: "At present, the economic context in the city and across the country is one where the opportunity for young people has never been lower.
"People are struggling to get jobs, but apprenticeships give this generation of young people the chance to get jobs in the future.
"We would encourage other organisations to take up the Evening Post's challenge.
"This scheme will not only bring success to the council, but also to Bristol itself."
Amy Clifford, from Patchway, has worked in chief executive Jan Ormondroyd's office as an apprentice business administrator since September.
The 18-year-old works for the council four days a week, and every Tuesday goes to Brunel and Gordano Training for theory lessons.
She will finish her two-year course next June, when she will receive an NVQ level 2 in business administration.
Miss Clifford said: "My role is to support the PA to the chief executive, including everything from audio typing to maintaining a postal log.
"An apprenticeship is a good step for young people. It is so hard to get a job, and you always need experience and qualifications.
"Without the apprenticeship the NVQ would cost a lot of money, but doing it this way I am earning while I learn."
Among the 14 training providers at the event was Reflections Hairdressing, which has 17 salons in the Bristol area.
Its training division runs programmes for its own staff and 130 salons across the city.
It has also taken on 10 apprentice hairdressers, who over 18 months will train to become stylists.
Training director Paul Johnson said: "They are the stylists of tomorrow. Apprenticeships bring in new talent, ideas and passion and that is vital for keeping a business vibrant and creative."
The National Apprenticeships Service, a government initiative designed to increase the number of opportunities across the country, is the first port of call for any businesses or young people wanting advice.
Geri Bowie, employer service manager at the National Apprenticeships Service, said: "We are delighted that so many companies have pledged their support to the apprenticeships campaign.
"We look forward to working with them to help recruit the right young people to fill their roles."
From today, the Evening Post will run stories for 100 days to encourage businesses across the Bristol area to take on apprentices.
If you are a company looking to take on an apprentice, or a young person keen to start an apprenticeship, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on apprenticeships, how to run one or to apply, call the NAS on 08000 150 600 or visit www.apprenticeships.org.uk.