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Royal Ambassador Opens Doors for 500 Manchester Apprentices

Article date: Fri, 19 Oct 2018 15:23 GMT

Lawrence and Gail Jones with the High Sherriff

Businesses across the North West are committing to providing 500 apprenticeship opportunities in the coming year thanks to a drive by The High Sheriff of Greater Manchester, Robina Shah.

Through her Team High Sheriff initiative, Shah and her ambassadors are launching a new event that sees businesses across the region committing to hiring apprentices and building young people’s careers.

Joining the push is technology brand UKFast, opening 100 technical apprenticeship vacancies to the region’s young people. UKFast CEO and Team High Sheriff Ambassador Lawrence Jones MBE has long been a keen advocate of training and development opportunities outside of traditional education and currently employs 62 people through the apprenticeship scheme.

Jones said: “There is undeniably still a stigma attached to apprenticeships but, in reality, they are an extraordinarily valuable alternative to university. There is no replacement for learning on the job from an early age, for being immersed in the workplace from the get-go.

“Around 18% of our workforce at UKFast is made up of current or former apprentices. The value and energy that they bring to the team is unparalleled. I am excited to support Robina in this drive to provide opportunities for young people and helping more of them onto the career ladder.”

During her year in the ceremonial role as High Sheriff, Robina has pledged to focus on tackling the issues that matter most to young people in our region through conversations with young people themselves.

Robina said: “Our conversation forums, co-led by our young ambassadors, help to upskill young people and enhance their knowledge in areas such as education and training, leadership and team working, however in isolation they can only add so much value to the young person’s portfolio.

“What’s really needed is the opportunity to translate the learning acquired into meaningful practice through funded apprenticeship schemes, work-based placements and work experience. UKFast is leading the way and responded to my call for action magnificently but we need more offers from our diverse industry. If you can help, please get in touch, our young people are waiting!”

The 500 opportunities will be announced at the Team High Sheriff 500 event in Manchester next month. Ambassadors for the Team High Sheriff programme include Manchester United and England legend Michael Carrick, who will be taking the stage at the event to share his story with the audience of young people. Joining Michael Carrick on the event line up is Freya Lewis, Manchester Arena bombing survivor.

The Team High Sheriff 500 event for 16-24 year-olds is free to attend and is being held at the new UKFast Campus building which is home to Tech Manchester and the FastForward Project. The event is 15th November at 4pm. Tickets can be booked via the EventBrite page.

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