North East businesses get more than their five-a-day

THE REGION’S largest independent training provider, North East Chamber of Commerce, (NECC) has surpassed its successful five-a-day campaign, after figures revealed it is signing up to six apprentices to schemes each day.

 NECC has been working with businesses across the North East to help boost the number of apprentices and had previously pledged to find places for up to five recruits per day via its apprenticeship campaign.

 But figures show that between August and November last year, the chamber recruited more than 500 apprentices – an average of six per day.

 Patricia Wilkinson, director of training and skills development at NECC, said: “The fantastic take-up really does prove that North East businesses are seeing great value in apprenticeships as a training and development strategy.

 “Apprenticeships are a fantastic way of addressing key business needs, and recruiting a highly skilled workforce that can be moulded to each company’s own individual needs.  The fact that we are able to recruit so many apprentices a day demonstrates that we are the employers’ choice for apprenticeships, working with a large number of businesses, big and small, to help them to address their recruitment needs through apprenticeship programmes.”

 Ashleigh Elliott, 18, was enrolled on a business administration apprenticeship with NECC by her employer, Lockout Tagout Safety Ltd in Stockton.  She is the 500th apprentice to be recruited by NECC.

 Ashleigh, from Billingham, is three months into her apprenticeship programme, which will run for a year.  She said: “My apprenticeship is going well so far.

 “It is my first job, and I am settling into it well.  My training adviser at NECC has been great, and is a real support in helping to manage my development with Lockout Tagout.”

 Lockout Tagout, which stems from a family business that was established in 1883, produces bespoke industrial security devices such as padlocks and access control systems, is one of hundreds of businesses working with NECC to meet its training needs.  The company has made three appointments over the last few months, having secured several major contracts, including a second apprentice, Demi Henry, who is also undertaking a business administration apprenticeship, managed by the Chamber.

 Ted Boynton who is managing director of the business, said that the apprenticeship schemes delivered by NECC have been a real driving force in delivering the skilled workforce needed to grow the business. 

 Mr Boynton said: “Lockout Tagout’s emergence as an international provider within this niche market has made the recruitment of new employees a necessity.

 “Ashleigh is a shining example of what young people can achieve given the right support, training and encouragement. Our company ethos is that good people make good business, and Ashleigh’s commitment is testament to this. The NECC’s commitment to their apprenticeship scheme is clearly evident and one to be highly recommended.”

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