Suffolk: Countdown begins for apprentice campaign

IPSWICH: We are just days away from the official launch of our campaign to create exciting new vacancies for young, enthusiastic workers desperate to get a foothold on the employment ladder.

Our 100 in 100 apprenticeship campaign will be launched on Monday and we are calling on businesses within the town to take on any enthusiastic new workers who are willing to learn from the bottom up.

By signing up an apprentice, you could help kick-start the local economy as well as bringing fresh hope to one of the thousands of job seekers desperately wanting the chance to work for a living.

Whitehouse Enterprises has already vowed to take on three apprentices and they are keen to offer a placement to a Kristen Carden, a 21-year-old whose fruitless search for a job has left him demoralised.

Melanie Hercus works as a progression and employment manager for the social enterpise company, which currently employs 121 members of staff, and she contacted The Evening Star after reading about Kristen’s battle with cancer and his subsequent search for a job.

“He seems like he is a hands-on person and we have vacancies within the manufacturing departments of our organisation. It is quite a physical job and it is a young team so he would bond well.”

Amongst their many roles, the organisation produces garden furniture from recycled carrier bags and has a contract to supply schools and parish council in Suffolk, as well as producing signs for the county’s roads.

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Explaining that Kristen could learn a raft of skills, Melanie said: “The team that make the furniture go out and install it too. While the sign makers use a variety of skills from computer technology to metal work and making the vinyls.”

On Tuesday, Kristen, of Spring Lane, Ipswich, will be shown around the centre in Lovetofts Drive, Whitehouse, Ipswich, to see the various work they do and discuss his future as an apprentice with the group.

He said: “I haven’t had a proper job for more than three years, since I was undergoing my chemotherapy.”

Kristen returned to work for a year after his first round of treatment but was then diagnosed with a tumour in his chest which required further, high dose, chemotherapy.

“I have been in remission for some time now, thankfully. And now getting a job will be the icing on the cake. This is a new year and a fresh start for me.

“This is what I need, it is going to give me the kick-start I have been looking for. It is so demoralising not having a job and you feel a bit lost, there is nothing to do all day.

“It will give me some pride in myself to have a job and to learn some new skills.”

Evening Star editor Nigel Pickover said: “I am delighted that Kristen has been given this fresh hope for the future, this is what our 100 in 100 campaign is all about – teaming up enthusiastic young workers with first-rate employers.

“As the launch draws ever closer, I am looking forward to seeing even more delighted youngsters offered a chance to better themselves through on-the-job training and seeing companies benefit from the energy and enthusiasm these workers will bring to their companies.”

n Tell us your experiences of being an apprentice. Write to Your Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail