Ipswich: Apprentice campaign gets started with first success

IPSWICH: It’s day one – the official launch of a campaign that will breathe new life into the town’s businesses.

Our 100 in 100 apprentice campaign – aimed at creating 100 new opportunities for aspiring workers in 100 days – is now under way.

Teresa Logan, of the National Apprenticeship Service, said: “As of today there are 1,200 potential apprentices registered in Suffolk and just 60 vacancies available.

“The demand is there and now we need the employers to rise to the challenge.

“Apprentices are seen as a key tool in supporting the economic recovery of a business.

“A number of companies have gone through restructuring in response to the downturn and they will have lost some of their skills base.

“By taking on an apprentice they have the opportunity to start building up those skills again.

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“Apprentices undergo formal training but they can also learn from working with the existing workforce.”

Already businesses across Ipswich and beyond have shown their support for our campaign and vowed to take on apprentices.

Ipswich Hospital, Ansaback, Suffolk New College and Ipswich Building Society have all committed to taking on a new junior member of staff and providing them with the training they need to develop the skills that will earn them a living for years to come.

Helping us launch the campaign today is our very first success story Kristen Carden, the 21-year-old cancer survivor who has applied for countless jobs over the past two years in the hope that someone will give him the chance he needs.

Now, as a result of our camapaign, Kristen has been offered a placement with Whitehouse Enterprises and tomorrow he will meet with his future employers for the first time.

“I just want to come off the dole and earn a living,” said Kristen, of Spring Road. “Having a job will give me a reason to get out of bed in the morning and give me a daily routine.”

Evening Star editor Nigel Pickover said: “Ipswich has survived the recession carefully and in reasonable shape. Now it is time to look ahead to the future, and where better to start than with young people looking to make their first steps on the employment ladder?

“We need to invest time and effort into training the workforce of tomorrow, in order to keep our businesses at the top of their game. We are very proud of our 100 in 100 campaign.”

Businesses interested in finding out more about the benefits of taking on an apprentice can join one of three free events being held this week in Bury St Edmunds, Lowestoft and Ipswich.

For more details, e-mail rowena@suffolkchamber.co.uk.

n Has your business helped a worker turn their life around? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.