Bold bid to create jobs

By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 01 February 2013 Updated: 01/02 15:26

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Buy photos » Redditch Borough Council regeneration manager Peter Smith, Oakland International health and safety manager Michelle Higgitt, Mettis HR business partner Kaye Griffin and Peterson Spring department manager Richard Bray with council leader Bill Hartnett. Picture by Marcus Mingins 0513021MMR. Order this picture at

A CAMPAIGN to create 50 apprenticeships in 50 days has been launched with the help of borough businesses.

Representatives from Mettis Aerospace, Oakland International and Peterson Spring have joined forces with Redditch Borough Council and providers such as NEW College, Nova Training and the National Apprenticeship Service to create jobs and training opportunities for Redditch’s young people.

The Redditch Apprenticeship Challenge was launched in the Kingfisher Shopping Centre on Wednesday (January 30) and aims to raise awareness of the benefits of apprenticeships to both companies and individuals as well as get businesses to commit to creating new apprentice positions.

Council leader Bill Hartnett, who started out his engineering career as an apprentice, told the Standard: “Apprenticeships are very important as they give people transformable skills and a career path to follow.

“There is a lot to learn about apprenticeships, they are not always for four years, they can be for one year and can be across retail, in an office, admin, finance or any number of a range of industries.

“The businesses are here to learn about the opportunities they can give to young people and the benefit to their business as well. It’s a win, win, win situation.”

Bosses at Oakland International in Beoley are aiming to take on four new posts as they increase their workforce from 200 to 280 by the end of 2014 while Peterson Spring has committed to hiring two apprentices a year going forward.

Department manager Richard Bray said: “We need to get young blood in to the factory as we have a skills gap and an ageing workforce.

“We really want to get some youngsters coming through. If you don’t have those guys coming through you won’t be competitive and won’t be here in a few years.”

Kaye Griffin, HR business partner at Mettis Aerospace, said the company already employed 14 apprentices but would be looking to take more on.

“We see them as the future of the business. We invest time and money in them and they progress in the business.”

A pop-up shop in the Kingfisher centre near Thorntons will remain open throughout February to give young people a chance to learn more about the opportunities on offer.

Two events are also being held during the month. Nova Training on Clive Road is hosting an open day on February 12 to give 16 to 18-year-olds the chance to find out more about the courses they offer in a range of industries.

Hundreds of Year 11 students will then get the chance to meet employers and training providers the following day (February 13) at an Abbey Stadium event run by the National Apprenticeship Service. For more information call 0800 032 1222.

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