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Weston College apprenticeships campaign shatters '100 in 100' target


An ambitious Weston College campaign to generate pledges of 100 new apprenticeship places in 100 days smashed its target by more than 100 per cent – achieving a total of 203 pledges.

The campaign aimed to raise awareness of the many business benefits of taking on an apprentice in the hope of encouraging employers who have not previously taken up this option to do so.

Staff from Weston College’s Business Enterprise Centre used their enthusiasm and commitment to generate and follow up leads using their already extensive network of business contacts.

They were supported by a marketing and communications campaign to help raise awareness. The campaign was jointly run with the Weston Mercury newspaper.

Head of BEC Liz Redwood said: "When we launched this campaign, as part of National Apprenticeship Week in March, we thought it was quite ambitious to try to get 100 pledges in 100 working days.

"But staff pulled out all the stops, and I am delighted to say that the campaign exceeded our expectations."

Among the many new businesses that are now offering apprenticeships are the National Autistic Society, the Ohh Company, Something Different, C.B.S.L. and The Hair Gallery

Liz added: "I am grateful to our staff for their tireless efforts, and for the support of the Weston Mercury.

"I am also grateful to our existing business partners, for helping to raise awareness of how businesses can reap the rewards of taking on apprentices, and am happy to welcome many new employers to our network.

"Although the campaign itself is over, there is no reason for any employer out there to feel that they have missed out. We are looking at ways of spreading the pledge, and are also always looking to work with new employers."

Yeo Vale Medical Practice, based in Congresbury and Yatton, has taken on apprentice Sophie Turley, 19, from Yatton. Practice Manager Lesley Irvine explains why: "Government backing of the Apprenticeship Scheme makes this an attractive proposition for employers. The recruitment of suitable staff is always a challenge so we felt that we wanted to help build a local workforce and to give a local young person the opportunity to gain real work experience.

"We now have our second Apprentice who is an enthusiastic addition to our team. She definitely adds to our ability to respond to patients, and she makes us think about what we do and how we do it, for everyone’s benefit! The staff all really enjoy having a young person working with them."

Sophie said: "I chose an apprenticeship because after struggling to get a full time job it seemed the perfect solution as I would be able to gain vital experience while gaining a qualification for the future. There is the added bonus of being paid too!"

Anyone interested in finding out more can contact the BEC on 01934 411 594 or email business.enterprise.centre@weston.ac.uk

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