YOUNG people across Uttoxeter are getting a head start in their careers with the help of council chiefs.
Staffordshire County Council’s apprenticeship programme, which has been running since 2009, has currently recruited a total of 428 apprentices working in a range of roles including teaching assistants, chefs, catering staff, business administration assistants, ICT technicians and sports coaches.
Michael Lawrence, from Uttoxeter, is one young person who has benefited from the programme and is soon to start a management trainee job with his local Tesco store.
The 19-year-old started his apprenticeship in July 2011 as a waste management assistant, studying a level two course in waste and recycling. With the council’s waste management team, he worked at both the Uttoxeter and Leek household recycling centres.
Mr Lawrence said: “Since starting my apprenticeship at Staffordshire County Council in 2011 I have learned lots of new skills and have really matured as a person. I have always had a bit of an interest in recycling, what happens to rubbish and how household waste is actually recycled and what it is made into.
“Getting the apprenticeship in waste management was the perfect option for me and I’ve really enjoyed it. The team I worked with were very supportive, and my tutors were also great.
“I would really recommend doing an apprenticeship to other young people. It gives you not just a qualification but also a wage while you do it and the relevant experience and job skills that employers are looking for these days. It’s a great way to get yourself on the career ladder and has definitely helped me secure my first job as a management trainee.
“I’d like to say a big thank you to Staffordshire County Council for the opportunity and the guys in my team for their support.”
More information on the apprenticeship scheme is available at www.staffordshireapprentices.org.uk . An Apprenticeship Helpline for those thinking of taking on an apprentice is available on 0300 1118002.