Apprentice scheme reaches halfway

By Harriet Ernstsons Wednesday 20 February 2013 Updated: 20/02 14:30

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Buy photos » New apprentice Tommy Williams receives training from former apprentice Katie Hind, watched by borough council chief executive Kevin Dicks and Muffin Break owner Tony Taylor. Picture by Marcus Mingins 0813009MMR1. Order this picture at www.buyphotos247.com.

A SCHEME to take on 50 new apprentices in 50 days has reached the halfway mark thanks to a town centre coffee shop.

Tony Taylor, owner of Muffin Break in the Kingfisher Shopping Centre, officially signed up to the Redditch Borough Council run scheme this week, taking on Tommy Williams in the 25th role since the project began at the end of January.

He told the Standard he felt apprentices gave young people who did not want to go to university a chance to get a career, as well as helping his business by keeping overheads low and taking on staff who were likely to stay there rather than use it as a stop-gap.

"It gives them something in life to aim for rather than kicking a tin can outside the job centre on a Friday afternoon," Mr Taylor said.

"Some people have been looking for jobs for three or four years and they can't get anything then when they get into a job, their self esteem rises overnight.

"The scheme is helping kids out and helping local kids to get employed as well as helping me out with running costs and at the end of the apprenticeship I know they are going to stay and carry on and develop as people.

"It's contributing to Redditch and to everybody involved and I would highly recommend it to other employers."

Council leader Bill Hartnett said: "This is great news for Redditch that we are halfway to our target. I see it as a win, win, win situation - the young person gains transferable skills, the employers get a young keen employee and the borough as a whole up-skills its workforce.

"I am most grateful to all employers who have signed the pledge. We must strive forward now to reach our target of 50 apprentices, I encourage people to drop into our temporary Apprentice Shop in the Kingfisher Centre to learn more about the opportunities apprenticeships can bring and the range of apprenticeships available."

Chief executive Kevin Dicks added it was great to see companies supporting the scheme.

"I am delighted the council is supporting this and I hope more businesses come forward to help us reach our target."

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