2 March 2011
Employers, training providers and apprentices came together to celebrate our hugely successful ‘100 in 100 challenge’ last week.
The ‘News’ laid on a reception at Bar 242 in Blackfriars to mark the end of the campaign. On the 100th day of our challenge in January, our ambitious target was smashed – with a total of 149 apprenticeships pledged.
From our launch on Thursday, September 23, last year, apprenticeships have been pledged from businesses and organisations across the borough, putting our final figure just one apprenticeship off going 50 per cent over target.
The campaign to get local people skilled up and into jobs and careers in Southwark has won praise from all sectors of the community and is part of the paper’s drive to bridge the ever increasing gap between rich and poor in Southwark by up skilling local people.
The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), which worked with the ‘News’ to get 100 apprenticeships in 100 days, praised the paper for the work it did. Vic Grimes, Regional Director of Apprenticeships, said that Southwark was one of the worst boroughs for businesses hiring apprentices - adding that the campaign had changed that.
Councillor Catherine MacDonald, the Cabinet member at Southwark Council for children’s services, said that she wanted to work more closely with the paper to help drive a new youth fund on which the ruling administration is currently working.
Danni Christie, who co-ordinated the challenge for the paper, explained how she persuaded the two managing directors at Southwark News to take on the campaign and said she was determined to do more to skill up local people.
Businesses in Southwark who want to find out how they can get involved in our future apprenticeship campaigns can contact Danni on 020 7232 1639 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet one of our first apprentices
Among the guest at the event last week was eighteen year old Kelsey Saunders, one of our first apprentices.
The former Sacred Heart pupil from Peckham is expected to complete her apprenticeship by the end of the year and says she loves her admin job at a local firm.
This is Bellenden’s first apprentice. The firm is an independent agency specialising in political, planning and corporate communications which started in Peckham, where it took its name, before moving more recently to offices in London Bridge. It had always been committed to giving an opportunity to a local young person to develop within the organisation, but did not take up apprentices until the ‘News’ launched its campaign last September.
Kelsey left school after gaining some GCSEs and went on to Southwark College to take a BTEC course in Science. At the same time she had been given the opportunity to work one day per week at Bellenden to gain experience of administration work. After meeting with training provider Circa, Bellenden believed that Circa’s Apprenticeship programme would work well for Kelsey and the company.
Both liked the fact that Kelsey would attend off-the-job training sessions and receive ongoing support. Kelsey subsequently started her Apprenticeship in October and is now well on her way to achieving her first qualification, The Principles of Business.
Managing Director Mark Glover said: “She is an active member of her group and is showing great enthusiasm for her role at work. We are looking forward to seeing Kelsey progress over the coming months and to completing her full apprenticeship.”
Both picked up certificates at the event last week, with Mr Glover saying he would be happy to take on another apprenticeship in the near future.
If people are interested in taking on an apprenticeship course with Circa or are an employer wanting to take on an apprentice in an admin role, you can view their website www.circa.ltd.uk for information and/or call on 020 8464 5155 to discuss it further.
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