Ladder for Shropshire: Apprenticeship route proving a hit for interior business

It comes as a result of the success of CharlesTed’s existing apprenticeship programme, which saw Summer Pound join as a business administration apprentice and Leanne Gray as a warehouse apprentice in the summer.

The Shrewsbury-based business has been so impressed with the progress made by the pair, it is currently searching for its next generation of apprentices in areas such as customer service, business administration and warehousing.Summer and Leanne’s success stories will be featured in the Shropshire Star during National Apprenticeship Week, commencing February 7, as we continue to support the successful Ladder For Shropshire apprenticeships programme.

Ladder for Shropshire: Event to showcase apprenticeships

More than 25 employers, colleges, training providers and careers guidance specialists will be available at the event showcasing advanced manufacturing, engineering, construction, digital, administration, hospitality, hair and beauty, agriculture, health and social care, and many others.

Many of the stands will be interactive giving the opportunity to learn more about careers in particular occupational areas.Apprenticeship advisors will be on hand to give advice on finding and applying for apprenticeships including registering with the ‘Find an Apprenticeship’ service.

The event is being sponsored by Aico, PaveAways and the Apprenticeship Ambassador Network, and is being organised by the Marches Skills Provider Network in conjunction with the Ladder for Shropshire.

The Ladder said it is delighted to once again be involved with the All About Apprenticeships event this year

Ladder for Shropshire: Impressive apprentice urges more young people to follow in his footsteps

Tom Ellis joined industrial equipment supplier Danvac about 12 months ago and said his apprenticeship has helped him gain access to a career path while learning new skills.

When Tom was 16 the careers advice he received seemed to be directing him to A-levels or a college course, and he knew very little about apprenticeships.

His next step was therefore to start an A-level course but he didn’t enjoy it and felt that he needed to do something more practical.

He felt engineering would be right for him, so he researched apprenticeships, and applied for the electrical engineering apprenticeship with Shrewsbury-based Danvac, which was being promoted by the Ladder for Shropshire.

Ladder for Shropshire: Lots of apprenticeship opportunities still being created despite challenging year

The pandemic has had a big impact on exam and qualification arrangements, and youngsters have had far less access to career guidance than usual.

There has also been huge uncertainty surrounding the employment market as thousands of people were furloughed, and unemployment amongst under 25s in Shropshire hit more than 4,000.

Against this backdrop, the Ladder for Shropshire has continued to generate opportunities for local young people. Hundreds of employers have been supported with impartial advice which has enabled them to offer and to fill apprenticeship vacancies.

A wide range of skills and levels have been on offer. Examples include level four IT software developer, level three accountant, level two carpentry, level three maintenance engineer, level three digital marketer, level two warehouse operative, and level thee administrator.

Apprenticeship opportunities available with housing provider

In 2019 Housing Plus set an ambitious target to create 100 new apprenticeships in the group and supply chain within the next five years. It currently employs 36 apprentices, providing job opportunities and career development, and has a further 16 colleagues using apprenticeship training to boost their skills and improve their job prospects.

As a member of The 5% Club, it is part of a dynamic movement of employers committed to ensuring that five per cent of their people are in earn-and-learn roles. It believes that apprentices are the future stars of their workforce, with opportunities for rewarding careers making a positive difference to homes, lives and communities.

Liam Davies has recently completed his electrical apprenticeship and became a trainee electrician within the group.

Apprenticeship opportunity available with Telford law firm

The recently relaunched property law firm MSD Law, formerly named Donn & Co, is taking on two new apprentices in business administration level three.

The business, which has moved from Newport to Hadley Park in Telford, hopes the new apprentices can work together offering administration support to the firm whilst learning and gaining an understanding of the legal processes when buying and selling property.

Kerry O’Brien, from Juniper Training, who has been advertising the position, said: “We have successfully filled one position but there is still one more position for someone who will relish the opportunity to get a head start with a successful law firm. These types of opportunities don’t come around often.”

Manufacturer Hazlin seeking bench joinery apprentices

Ludlow-based Hazlin specialises in the manufacture of bespoke architecturally veneered doors, panels, frames and a range of other products.

The business says it has dedicated time and support into the development of successful apprenticeships, to grow the next generation of bench joiners.

Christopher Jones, managing director, said: “We are keen to offer new apprenticeship opportunities as it means that the apprentices can work towards achieving a qualification that is recognised and is transferable.

"For Hazlin, it shows that we have a skilled workforce and that we are seen to be developing our people.

Ladder for Shropshire helping provide the next steps for Kickstart employees

Klaidas Psenaska moved to England from Lithuania with his parents when he was four years old. At 16, he chose to go to college and successfully completed a two-year bricklaying course, but with no site experience, he struggled to find work.

When the Kickstart scheme was introduced, many opportunities came into the Job Centre, and Klaidas’s work coach encouraged him to start applying. An interview with Oswestry-based document management business EvaStore provided him with a great opportunity, and was also less than a mile from his house.Klaidas was soon given a good insight into all aspects of the business, before settling into the role he currently has of storing documents for safe electronic storage.

Gary Tait, general manager, said he is delighted with how well Klaidas has settled in.

Apprentice settling in well at construction plant firm

Clee Hill Plant Ltd has taken on Dylan Hadwen as an apprentice plant technician to work at its Ludlow depot.

Dylan, who was previously employed in his family's business, spotted the apprenticeship opportunity on the Government website.

He said: "I applied for the apprenticeship as I was interested in plant machines and how to fix them. I have settled in well and get on with everyone.

"I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship to a friend."

Ladder for Shropshire thanks sponsors for ongoing support with promoting apprenticeships

This sponsorship will enable the Ladder to continue the important work of promoting apprenticeships and providing impartial advice to organisations who are interested in apprenticeships across the region, it says.

Shropshire Council currently has 225 apprentices on programmes across a wide range of occupational areas including business and administration, care services, digital services, education and childcare, finance as well as degree level apprenticeships in management, digital, social work, construction and environmental practice. These apprenticeships range from level two (GCSE) to level seven (post graduate).

Kate MacDonald, upskill programme lead for apprenticeship provision at Shropshire Council, said: “We have apprenticeship vacancies available at various times throughout the year. All apprenticeship vacancies are advertised on our Shropshire Council job pages; we currently have exciting opportunities for social workers and youth support workers. Potential applicants can also find information on our social media pages and on the Find an Apprenticeship website.”

Apprentice hoping to climb career ladder with Shrewsbury lift company

The business says it has grown steadily, based on the firm foundation of quality products and service, and wanted to ensure that all employees reflected this. Training its own employees through apprenticeships has been key to its growth, it added.

Stephen Nankivell, managing director of Belvidere Lifts, said: “I started my career as an apprentice and knew that this was the way to build a good team, trained to our standards, and embracing our values.

"Our sector is specialised and struggles for highly skilled engineers but apprenticeships are helping us to address that. The company’s biggest asset is its employees.

“Tom is settling in well and is spending time with a service engineer, supporting on-site maintenance. He will then move in to the workshop undertaking repairs and ultimately installation.

Bridgnorth-based manufacturer wants new apprentices to help it grow

Bridgnorth-based Genvolt has opportunities available for an advanced administration apprentice and an advanced engineering apprentice as part of its growth plans.The company specialises in the design and manufacture of high voltage power supplies for defence, medical, manufacturing, testing and laboratory to name a few.

Wendy Cox, Genvolt office manager, said: “Genvolt does more than manufacture and supply high voltage power supplies around the world.

"As a company we are looking for people who can grow, think, and explore potential. Our culture thrives by embracing diversity and rewarding imagination. Genvolt is a growing company that looks for their team members to grow with it.

Awareness of apprenticeships impacted by pandemic

The past 18 months have impacted negatively on the careers advice and guidance which many young people have been able to access. Higher numbers have chosen to follow the more familiar academic routes to college or university and this may result in higher than usual drop-out rates, the Ladder says.

Nationally, the number of young people starting new apprenticeships fell by 46 per cent between 2019 and 2020. And an IPPO (International Public Policy Observatory) review found “a decline in the awareness of apprenticeships during the pandemic”.

It found that, with less time spent in school, the number of young people who received information on apprenticeships dropped from 63 per cent in 2018 to 57 per cent in 2021, a four-year low.

Home safety specialist Aico looking to recruit an apprentice

Aico is offering an opportunity for someone to join its internal sales team, providing administrative support and market-leading customer service.

The home life safety specialist has recently moved to a new purpose-built administrative centre in Oswestry. With a history of providing apprenticeships, Aico is keen to continue this policy with support of the Ladder for Shropshire.

The customer service apprentice will receive training in maintaining the customer records system, inputting data, generating reports, processing orders electronically, and dealing with telephone and email enquiries.

Lily Ellis, who completed an apprenticeship with Aico and is now employed as a community liaison officer, said: “I would highly recommend an apprenticeship to anyone. The ability to continue learning whilst engaging in the world of work is an exceptionally valuable experience for any young person’s personal and professional development."

Where to find apprenticeships

The struggles surrounding knowing where to find more information about current apprenticeship vacancies was one of the key findings of the Shropshire Star's apprenticeship survey, which was launched in June.

Over the coming weeks the Shropshire Star's weekly Ladder for Shropshire page will report on different aspects of the survey. The first is focussing on 'where to find an apprenticeship'.

Most weeks there are in excess of 200 vacancies advertised on the ‘Find An Apprenticeship’ website and these are being filled and replaced on about a four-week cycle.

Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Hospital launches health care apprenticeship vacancies

This initiative is in support of the national Integrated Care System which is bringing new people in to the health and social care sector and encouraging progression through the system to nurse training.

This 'New to Care Health Care Assistant' position offers an opportunity to work within the NHS and gain the knowledge and fundamental skills required to provide good quality patient care.

The apprentices will support the practice nursing teams in the delivery of nursing services, working as part of the practice multidisciplinary teams, delivering care and assisting clinical staff in the provision of treatment, preventative care, health promotion and patient education.

New apprenticeships on offer from Telford manufacturer

Fabweld Steel Products (FSP), which produces access covers and other fabricated steel products for the construction industry, is recruiting a customer service apprentice and a general fabricator apprentice for its team at its base in Madeley, Telford.

It is part of the Ladder for Shropshire apprenticeships scheme supported by the Shropshire Star.

The 15-month customer service contract will involve supporting the sales team coupled with a range of marketing activities with a view to progressing to a permanent role at the end of the apprenticeship. The successful candidate will work towards a Level 2 NVQ in Customer Service.

Young people in Shropshire urged to consider apprenticeships after receiving results

With UCAS and colleges reporting tremendous competition for full-time places, a record number of apprenticeships are available in the region this summer, which will help to ensure that young people do not need to be concerned about progression.

The Ladder says these opportunities provide the qualifications, skills and experience which employers are looking for, and lead to good careers.

More than 90 per cent of young people who complete an apprenticeship continue in permanent employment whereas data from the Office of National Statistics finds nearly four in 10 of all graduates are unable to land graduate level jobs.

Wesley's motoring on now

Before undertaking the apprenticeship, Wesley lived in Birmingham and studied Level 3 engineering at college.

On completion he moved to Shropshire with his family where he found it difficult to get a job in engineering, because although he had qualifications, he had no work experience so he ended up taking a metal manufacturing job.

“I’d never really considered an apprenticeship,” said Wesley. “But then I spoke to my grandad and started to realise that I could gain qualifications and put it into practice at work at the same time which I hadn’t been able to do before.

“I think the main benefits are that you can go to college to gain a qualification but by spending a lot of time in the garage, it solidifies what you’ve learnt.

Take part in our apprenticeships survey

The online survey below, which will be live until the end of July, will enable us to gather views on which apprenticeships young people are interested in, where they are advertised, how to apply for them, and where to access more information about them.

It comes as part of the Ladder for Shropshire campaign which was relaunched last autumn to encourage businesses across the county to offer more apprenticeships and help get more people on the career ladder.

The views provided in the survey will be very important to help the Ladder for Shropshire understand how it can provide better support for young people, as they make the transition into work.

Vineyard looking to recruit new apprentice

Kerry Vale Vineyard, located in Church Stoke near Bishop's Castle, approached the Ladder for Shropshire to support it in creating an opportunity for a customer service apprenticeship in conjunction with County Training.

The award-winning family business is focused on growing high quality grapes for wine. It runs weekly tours with wine tasting and a has a busy café known for its home baked cakes and fresh produce. It also has a cellar door shop which sells its wine, a selection of gifts, homeware and locally made items.

Nadine Roach, marketing and PR coordinator, said: "As we emerge from lockdown the vineyard is attracting more and more customers and the café continues to grow, which provides us with a great opportunity to recruit into our fun and friendly team.

Security firm hoping to unlock potential after recruiting new apprentice

Shrewsbury-based Locsafe has recruited fire and security technician level three apprentices in conjunction with the Ladder for Shropshire, the apprenticeships programme supported by the Shropshire Star.

Locsafe is a long-established family run business, focussing on providing expert knowledge and skills across the security sector.

Its core services include locksmiths, intruder alarms, automatic gates and barriers, CCTV, access control, automatic doors, fire alarm systems, intercom systems, safes, car key programming, and data network infrastructure. It also provides consultation services to business, local authorities and other security firms.

Adam Williams, technical director at Locsafe, said: "Due to the increased demand for our services the business is expanding and we are fortunate to be able to create new opportunities.

Ladder for Shropshire: Sweet success for apprentice Harry

In collaboration with Telford College, the business recruited Harry Lee who has been impressing in his role during the initial three months of his apprenticeship.

Ladder for Shropshire is a local apprenticeships creation scheme supported by the Shropshire Star.

Harry said: “I applied for an apprenticeship as the concept of university never really appealed to me and I just wanted to hit the ground running with gaining the work experience that accompanies an apprenticeship. Apprenticeships were briefly mentioned during sixth form as an alternative to university and that's what made me realise that I wanted to pursue one to kickstart my career."

Ladder for Shropshire: Apprenticeship opportunities with Morris Lubricants

Based in Shrewsbury and with a heritage dating back to 1869, the company is one of the largest privately-owned manufacturers of oils and lubricants in Europe.

Morris Lubricants products are used in many industries including automotive, agriculture, industrial and commercial vehicle.

Ladder for Shropshire is an apprenticeships programme supported by the Shropshire Star.

The engineering apprentice will follow the level three maintenance and operations engineering technician apprenticeship, working on planned preventative maintenance on manufacturing and support machinery, fault-finding and repairing breakdowns, also assisting with plant modifications and installations.

Steel firm welcomes latest apprentice into vital role

Amy Truswell, who took up the role at the start of June, will be building a stronger health and safety culture across the company and developing FSP’s in-house expertise in this sector.

Amy will be working towards the safety, health and environment technician level three qualification, alongside securing certification in key disciplines such as IOSH and NEBOSH.

Wayne Carter, operations director, said that Amy’s role was integral to FSP’s development over the coming years.

“While Amy is studying towards her qualification, she will support the team with implementing health and safety protocol and supporting with our environmental analysis and development,” he said.

Ladder for Shropshire: Two new apprenticeships up for grabs with contractors

The need for business administration and electrical apprentices comes as a result of growth for the firm's small works department.

Dodd Group was formed in 1947 in Shropshire and has remained a privately owned family business ever since. It offers a comprehensive electrical and mechanical design, installation and maintenance service across many sectors.

The company has recently secured a £10.6 million project at a residential scheme in Perry Bar, Birmingham, as part of the regeneration program stimulated by the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Closer to home, it has also just completed the mechanical and electrical enabling works at the new Air Ambulance headquarters at RAF Cosford.

Ladder for Shropshire: Will qualifies as lift engineer as employer offers new apprenticeship opportunity

It specialises in preventative lift maintenance, repairs, breakdowns and modernisations to all types of lifts together with new installations across the Midlands and Welsh Regions. The company was founded in August 2003 and has enjoyed steady growth ever since. At present the company employs 12 people and now have the opportunity for a new lift engineer apprentice having experienced the benefits of their recently qualified engineer who qualified through an apprenticeship.

Will Nankivell started work with Belvidere Lifts on January 7, 2016, and has completed NVQ Level 2 in electroctechnical technology and NVQ Level 3 in electrotechnical systems at Shrewsbury College then finally completed his NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Lift Servicing on August 22 last year.

Digital marketing apprentices wanted in Shropshire

It comes as many organisations have re-evaluated their communication and marketing methods, and have made better use of IT during the past 12 months.

Sophie Coombs started her digital marketing apprenticeship with J&PR, a public relations and marketing agency, in December 2019 after dropping out of university.

She wasn’t enjoying her university course but feels that her apprenticeship was the right thing for her and has set her on the right career path.

Like many apprentices, Sophie’s training was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, however, with hard work and regular support from her trainer and her employer, she was delighted to achieve a distinction in her end point assessment.

How apprenticeships have provided first steps to great careers

Despite the pandemic, last year there were more than 6,000 people in Shropshire following an apprenticeship and studying at levels two to six across a vast range of occupational areas.

As we continue to emerge from the latest lockdown, the number of vacancies is increasing and there are great opportunities for young people.

Apprenticeships are seen as vital to helping to rebuild the economy and provide the skills which employers need.

Some sectors such as construction, and health and social care are experiencing a skills shortage and changes to the ways of working has increased the demand for digital skills.

Ladder for Shropshire launches Facebook page to showcase apprenticeship vacancies

The Facebook page is called ‘Ladder for Shropshire’ and it is hoped young people, parents, grandparents or anyone else interested in apprenticeships will follow the page to see the daily updates of which opportunities are available with businesses in Shropshire.

Within the first two weeks since it was launched, the Facebook page has attracted over 500 followers.

Amanda Carpenter, project officer for the Ladder for Shropshire, said: “A very important aspect of the Ladder’s work is also promoting apprenticeship opportunities to young people and encouraging them to apply, so we are really pleased to have the Facebook page to keep young people in touch with the great opportunities available.”

Construction plant firm looking to hire new apprentice in Ludlow

Clee Hill Plant Limited has a vacancy for an apprentice plant technician to work at its Ludlow depot.

The successful candidate will work closely with a mentor who will help them develop and learn about the role.

They will be involved in servicing and repairs on heavy plant machinery such as JCB’s, Bomag Rollers etc.

Gavin Kirk, HR manager, said: "Clee Hill Plant has a long history of supporting apprentices through their training programmes and enabling them to obtain a nationally recognised qualification in plant maintenance and repair.

Ludlow-based business seeks new apprentices

Ludlow-based Blocsphere, which provides block property management services to residential and commercial clients throughout the UK, is looking for a property administrator and sale support administrator.

After starting out over eight years ago by founders Ashley and Joy Davies, the company said it plans to become the number one property management company in the UK.

Indie Oliver, partnership operations manager, said: "To achieve this goal, we are undergoing a period of unprecedented growth and we now have many exciting vacancies available at our head office in Shropshire or remotely across the UK. We currently have several different level two customer service opportunities at our head office.

Telford's Start Software delivers on apprenticeships

Start Software in Telford creates easy-to-use web software and mobile apps for all sizes of businesses and organisations.

The team is made up of software designers, developers, testers and technical authors with experience of working on a huge range of software systems.

Director Elaine Porter said “We are an advocate for apprenticeships and very keen to nurture new talent. We feel the apprenticeship route allows us to train young people who then become valued members of the team.

"We have recently offered William Price full time employment after completion of his apprenticeship.

Tasty opportunity for jobseekers at Shrewsbury confectionery firm

Champion & Reeves, which is based at Battlefield Enterprise Park in Shrewsbury, wants to strengthen its team with a new manufacturing apprentice.

The manufacturer makes luxury confectionery which are all 100 per cent natural with no artificial additives or flavourings and are gluten free.

The products are sold nationally and internationally including all the UK royal houses such as Buckingham Palace.

Jacqueline Champion, director at Champion & Reeves, said: “The apprentice will become part of the skilled team who manufacturer the beautiful confectionery.

“The apprentice will gain all the skills required and be part of our expanding business.”

The Ladder in action – Sammie steps up making space for new apprentice

The apprentice will be involved in a range of administrative work including administering meetings, telephone and customer contact, computerised records, and dealing with post.

The Ladder for Shropshire was approached by Sammie Milton, who joined Bluebird Care seven years ago as a business administration apprentice.

She completed her NVQ level three in business administration, was taken on permanently and later promoted to manager’s assistant. Last month, Sammie was promoted yet again to recruitment officer.

Carl lands role with Shrewsbury delivery firm

The business, which launched in 2018, has taken on Carl Evans as a digital marketing apprentice.

Carl said: “I wanted to start an apprenticeship because it offers a great chance of gaining a qualification as well as providing working experience at the same time.

“Rather than spending years at university, an apprenticeship offers a fantastic opportunity to start a career in digital marketing. I am looking forward to learning as much as I can about digital marketing as well as all that comes with the job role."

Lewis secures carpentry apprenticeship through Ladder for Shropshire

Lewis has secured the carpentry apprenticeship with Telford-based Custom Garden Rooms.

The firm was introduced to Amanda Carpenter, the project lead for the Ladder for Shropshire, by Mary-Anne Clayton from mechanical and electrical services contractors Dodd Group.

Dodd Group is a recent Ladder ambassador which has been supportive in promoting apprenticeships within its own supply chain and contacts. This has lead to Custom Garden Rooms contacting Amanda to discuss the options of a carpentry apprenticeship.

New apprenticeship opportunity with Telford manufacturer

The new role of health, safety and environment apprentice will support the operations director in fulfilling a number of key health and safety requirements across the organisation and will benefit from a 24-month apprenticeship programme qualification in association with In-Comm Training.

The successful candidate will gain IOSH and NEBOSH certification while working towards the safety, health and environment technician level three qualification.

Operations director, Wayne Carter, said: “This role will be central in helping to strengthen FSP’s existing procedures and processes and to embed the right culture across the organisation.”

Fast-growing interior business looking to recruit apprentices through Ladder for Shropshire

Working with the Ladder for Shropshire, Charlested Interiors wants to recruit new warehouse and office staff after experiencing 300 per cent growth in the past 12 months.

Charlested Interiors is a rapidly developing, social media driven company with over 200,000 Instagram followers and a fast-growing Pinterest following. A further 200 per cent financial growth is on track for 2021, the company said.

Suzie Mckeown, operations manager, said: “We are now looking to expand our team both in our warehouse and office, and have a number of opportunities ideal for apprentices looking to join a fast-moving, busy company with scope for development within the business.

"We are passionate about investing in our workforce and offering a balanced work life at Charlested. We have opportunities for apprenticeships and Kickstart as well as both full and part-time positions in warehousing, business administration and customer service.

“I have mentored many apprentices in the past and seen first hand the benefits of nuturing young people through a business, seeing their development and progression, building an exciting and fulfilling career that they are passionate about. I know how much of a positive difference these opportunities will make to Charlested, and we are delighted to be able to offer succession through apprenticeships to new and our existing staff who are driven to succeed."

Garden landscaping specialist offering chance for apprentices to blossom

utler Landscapes, multiple Royal Horticultural Society Gold Medal winners and a specialist in all aspects of garden design, landscape construction and garden maintenance, is offering the apprenticeships.

Based in Prees, the company undertakes garden projects for private and commercial clients throughout the whole UK.

It says it has built up a strong reputation in the local area and all work is undertaken by a professional, experienced team, including qualified landscapers and garden designers.

The organisation would like to grow its team of experts by training two apprentices who will train as a landscaping operative, or for the right person, landscaping supervisor.

The training will involve groundworks as well as specific gardening, horticultural skills and construction.

The company said this is a fantastic opportunity for young people who like to be outdoors gaining the satisfaction of creating amazing spaces.

The apprenticeships will be organised by County Training, working in conjunction with North Shropshire College.

Shropshire Council recognises apprentices with virtual awards event

To mark the achievements and contribution to the workplace, Shropshire Council held a virtual awards event last week, where over 70 members of staff and training providers attended.

The council has 192 apprentices who are currently developing their skills on the job within the council and its maintained schools.

As an Apprenticeship Levy-paying employer, the council and its schools use apprenticeships as a key route of development for members of staff.

The criteria of each award category focused on the commitment, contribution and potential for future success for each nominee. The awards were sponsored by Barnsley College, University of Wolverhampton and Skills Training UK, providing a prize for each of the winners.

Dodd Group becomes latest Ladder for Shropshire ambassador

Dodd Group has for many years been a great supporter of apprenticeships to develop its next generation of employees.

Dodd Group supports a wide range of apprenticeships, covering both mechanical (gas) and electrical, and has recently delivered a very successful management upskilling apprenticeship programme, resulting in a number of their managers and supervisors gaining merits and distinctions in level three leadership and management, along with enrolling its contract administrators on a customer service apprenticeship.

This investment ensures that there is an on-going supply of skilled operatives for Dodd Group activities and that there are opportunities for young people from the communities it serves.

Engineering and sub contract manufacturing firm takes on new apprentice

Lewis Gilbert has joined CEL Group as a level two supply chain warehouse operative in conjunction with Juniper Training and with support from the Ladder for Shropshire.

Lewis started his apprenticeship on February 1 after impressing Ryan Clark, head of engineering and quality UK at CEL, during his interview.

Ryan, who has become Lewis’s mentor, said: “At my previous place of work, I was the apprentice coordinator where we would take on three or four apprentices a year so I’ve conducted a few interviews.

"I usually like to just have a sit down with a relaxed chat, finding out about the candidates personality, hobbies and what drives them. Also, I have to judge on attitude and impressions, not just first ones, but throughout the interview.

"We pretty much knew instantly that Lewis was for us when we met him.”

Bridge Cheese apprentices get a taste of the sector

Holly Rosser and Alicia Turrell are level three business administration apprentices with the Stafford Park-based company which produces a range of cheese products for customers such as restaurant chains, food manufacturers and wholesalers.

Managing director Michael Harte said the food and drink sector was a great choice for youngsters looking to complete an apprenticeship.

"No matter the wider economic situation, food is one product which people literally can't live without. This stability can make it a great career choice. Our industry is looking to recruit 140,000 people by 2024 to feed an estimated population of 70 million people, so getting in on the ground floor through an apprenticeship is a good move. We are delighted to have welcomed Alicia and Holly to our team here in Telford, where they have the opportunity to work, learn and earn at the same time."

Shropshire organisations highlight importance of apprenticeships

Shropshire Chamber of Commerce, Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council have all highlighted the importance apprenticeships have in getting people on the career ladder.

It comes as events have been taking place during this week's National Apprenticeship Week, an annual event that seeks to highlight the work being done by employers and apprentices across the UK.

One of the events – the Shropshire Council Virtual Apprenticeship Awards – was held virtually yesterday and celebrated the achievements and success of apprenticeships at the council and schools.

Richard Sheehan, chief executive of Shropshire Chamber of Commerce, said: "As we continue to move towards the new world of business, the shape of our workforce and its evolution has never been more important.

Ladder for Shropshire gets backing ahead of National Apprenticeship Week

The Ladder for Shropshire campaign has received further support ahead of next week's National Apprenticeship Week.

MP Robert Halfon, who is chairman of the Education and Skills Select Committee, said showcasing apprenticeships and skills was as important as ever during these unprecedented times.

Mobility business seeks new apprentice through Ladder for Shropshire

Shifnal-based Quest 88 is seeking a bicycle mechanic apprentice to join its team. With more than 30 years of experience in the design and manufacture of rehabilitation products, the firm’s range of cycles and tricycles enable people overcome their obstacles to cycling through the latest in adaptive and cycling technology.

Amanda Carpenter, project lead for the Ladder for Shropshire, said: “This is an incredible opportunity for a young person to learn such a great skill alongside an experienced cycle mechanic with 20 years’ experience.

Tom takes up a fresh challenge

The first business to work with the relaunched Ladder for Shropshire campaign has gained an apprentice. Shrewsbury-based Danvac Ltd has recruited Tom Ellis as an electrical engineer.

Tom said: “I wanted to find something that would offer me a good trade and a long-term career. I am aware of apprenticeships, but I hadn’t realised what great opportunities were out there until I spotted the advert for this vacancy.

“I can openly say that my attitude to apprenticeships has changed. Danvac really want to train and guide me into a long-term career, I am very thankful.”

Opportunities for young people to take a step on career ladder

Three businesses in Halesfield, Telford are currently offering warehousing, business administration or manufacturing apprenticeships.

Organisers of the Ladder for Shropshire campaign are encouraging people to apply during a time where many have been left out of work because of the Covid pandemic.

Amanda added: “The Ladder is grateful to these Telford businesses that are stepping up to offer the apprenticeships and excited to think that local young people could be starting their careers in a matter of a couple of weeks.”

Ladder for Shropshire: Firms are urged to join campaign

Amanda Carpenter, project lead for the campaign, said she has been “overwhelmed” by the support received since it was relaunched in October, but is keen to secure more opportunities for young people next year.

A host of Shropshire businesses have already come forward to offer apprenticeships.

“Having joined the Ladder for Shropshire in October as the project lead I couldn’t have imagined what an impact the initiative would have,” Amanda said.

Telford bakery offering apprenticeships through Ladder for Shropshire

Telford-based Flower & White is the latest business to support the campaign to help get people on the career ladder.

The apprenticeships will be delivered by Telford College and will be supporting the business in an operations and analytics role, and within the warehouse and packing environment.

Family-run Flower & White has offered apprenticeships for many years with the aim to introduce new talent and energy into its team. Positions have been offered in all areas of the company, including the bakery, finance and analytics.

Life Ready Work Ready partners with Ladder for Shropshire

Life Ready Work Ready supports youngsters in the county by engaging with local businesses and encouraging school/business links in a variety of ways such as workplace visits, work experience, and school engagement events.

Councillor David Wright, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for the economy, housing, transport and infrastructure, said: “Our aim is to support businesses within our borough and to create the work force of the future by providing the right careers advice needed to inspire young people.

“We want to support our schools and colleges to better prepare students for the opportunities that exist locally and be better prepared for the world of work. To do this we are in constant contact with organisations to make those school/business links.

“We are currently supporting 35 schools and engage with over 3,000 businesses across the whole of Shropshire.

"Employers who we are working with us do ask us about progression and apprenticeships and it will be great to have the Ladder for Shropshire on hand to offer independent specialist advice and support.”

Apprenticeship award winners receive praise from Ladder for Shropshire organisers

Building contractor Pave Aways has received praise from the organisers behind the Ladder for Shropshire campaign after winning an apprenticeship award.

The Knockin-based firm won the Education and Apprenticeships award in the Shropshire Chamber Business awards.

The title was awarded at the event that was held virtually this year due to coronavirus following an independent judging process that was also conducted virtually.

Amanda Carpenter, project lead for Ladder for Shropshire, said: “I would like to congratulate Pave Aways for winning the award and their commitment to education and apprenticeships. We are very lucky to have a local business with such passion for supporting local young people.”

Steven Owen, managing director of Pave Aways, said: “Winning this award is a huge boost for us all as it reinforces the efforts we’re making to offer education and training to young people and to build a sustainable future for our business."

Ladder for Shropshire working to improve youth unemployment

As anticipated the Covid pandemic has had huge impacts on unemployment amongst 16 to 24 year olds, with those registered with the Department for Work and Pensions at the end of October hitting 3,943 compared with 1,633 at the beginning of the year.

Working in partnership with the Shropshire Star, the Ladder is reaching out to employers to encourage them to step up and ensure that this generation of young people is not forgotten and is able to take its place in contributing to the economic recovery of the area post-pandemic.

Amanda Carpenter, project lead for the Ladder, said: "I am overwhelmed by the support of local employers who are stepping up and offering opportunities.

"We have created apprenticeships that are currently being advertised in engineering, business administration, manufacturing, warehousing, customer service and computer programming, and the first positions to join the Ladder are being filled."

Ladder for Shropshire: Two more businesses offer apprenticeship opportunities

The warehouse opportunity at Telford-based engineering and sub contract manufacturing company, CEL Group, is being offered in conjunction with Juniper Training.

Meanwhile, Market Drayton-based CE Projects Ltd, a specialist in the installation and maintenance of effluent treatment and diary vending equipment, is offering an Engineering Operative apprenticeship in conjunction with SBC Training.

Simon Cartwright, the sales director at CEL Group, said: “The apprenticeship scheme is a great opportunity. It provides a valuable insight into industry, enabling apprentices to earn whilst they learn."

Hospital becomes ambassador for Ladder for Shropshire campaign

The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital near Oswestry has joined the Ladder for Shropshire campaign as an ambassador to promote apprenticeships.

Health and social care, with almost 24,000 people, is the largest employment sector in the county and has been so important during the current Covid-19 crisis.

The trust has been offering apprenticeships for many years and endeavours to ensure that young people are continually part of its recruitment and development process.

Allen Edwards, learning and development officer for the trust, said it currently has 56 apprentices across a wide range of occupations, clinical, administrative, housekeeping, catering and maintenance, and a further six opportunities are about to be offered.

Ladder for Shropshire has new project lead

Amanda Carpenter has joined the Ladder for Shropshire as project lead and is already hitting the ground running.

“I have many years’ experience of supporting young people and working with employers to identify apprenticeship opportunities.

The Ladder for Shropshire is an exciting initiative to be part of, and the perfect opportunity for me to use my passion, experience and expertise to offer impartial advice to employers on apprenticeships, traineeships and kickstart including all of the incentives that are on offer.

My goal is to encourage as many employers as possible to create opportunities to support the growing number of the young unemployed in Shropshire after the devastation of the pandemic. Youth unemployment has doubled since the beginning of the year and the number of apprenticeships on offer is almost 50 per cent lower than this time last year, so the more businesses that we can engage with the more of an impact we can make for young people and for the local economy."