YOUNG jobseekers in Burton are being urged to boost their job prospects by signing up for a council-run apprenticeships scheme.
The Staffordshire County Council-run scheme has recruited 428 apprentices since 2009 in roles ranging from teaching assistants, chefs, business admin assistants, sports coaches and nursery assistants.
One of those to benefit from the scheme, which is open to over-16s, is Aamna Kamal, from Burton, who landed a full-time job as teaching assistant at Anglesey Primary Academy after completing a 12-month apprenticeship at the Clarence Street school.
Her level two teaching assistant training, as part of the council’s Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools programme.
The course enabled her to support several children with a wide range of needs and abilities.
She said: “I was looking for a full-time course which offered on-the-job training and I was delighted when I was offered to join the council’s apprenticeship scheme.
“I’d always wanted to work in a school so this was perfect for me.
“I really enjoyed my apprenticeship. I love working with young children because it’s a new experience every day and every child is unique.
“Doing an apprenticeship is an excellent option and a great way of setting yourself up for a career. It can be less expensive as you get paid and are more likely to secure a job at the end of it.”
Charlotte Hopkins, the school’s vice-principal, said: “Through the apprenticeship programme, Aamna has grown in confidence and is now an integral part of the early years team.
“It has also put her in an excellent position when it comes to applying for jobs.”
The council was ranked for the second year running in the top 100 apprentice employers in the country, with nine out of 10 apprentices securing paid employment.
Meanwhile, in Staffordshire as a whole, 13,500 apprentices are employed, a 41 per cent increase on three years ago.
Ben Adams, the authority’s cabinet member for employment and skills, said: “It is vitally important that we give young people like Aamna the opportunity to develop their career and in Staffordshire we continue to invest in providing real opportunities for them.”
More information is available online at www.staffordshierapprentices.org.uk
Meanwhile employers can find out more about the benefits of taking on an apprentice by calling the newly-launched apprenticeship helpline on 0300 1118002.