Big boost for our young apprentices

Julie Turner demonstrating the work of a catering apprentice to Joanne Bartholomew Assistant Director Physical Resources & Procurement during National Apprenticeship Week.''CUTTING EDGE: Apprentice Julie Turner demonstrates her catering skills to assistant director of physical resources Joanne Bartholomew.

Julie Turner demonstrating the work of a catering apprentice to Joanne Bartholomew Assistant Director Physical Resources & Procurement during National Apprenticeship Week.''CUTTING EDGE: Apprentice Julie Turner demonstrates her catering skills to assistant director of physical resources Joanne Bartholomew.

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KIRKLEES Council has created 22 new apprenticeships.

The council has created roles in neighbourhood improvement, gardening, construction, catering and school administration in a bid to reduce unemployment amongst the young.

The latest figures published by the government show that in March there were 4,075 young people aged 18-24 who were claiming job seekers’ allowance.

More than half of those young people had been claiming benefits for more than six months.

The council hopes that by creating apprenticeships, young people can be given on-the-job training and create sustainable employment prospects in the long term.

Among the roles created were four jobs in catering, centred around school lunches.

Julie Turner, a catering apprentice based at Battyeford Primary School in Mirfield, said the scheme had benefited her already.

“This apprenticeship has helped me start a new career from scratch, I feel I’ve come along way in the short time I’ve been doing it, and I now know I want to spend the rest of my working years in catering of one form or another,” she said.

“It’s a great way to get into the industry for people of any age, whether new to working life, or starting again like me.

“It’s an opportunity to learn the job with support, there’s always someone there to ask for help and by attending college.

“At the same time I get the chance to learn the theory side of catering, and obtain a qualification.”

A further 10 apprenticeships have been created in streetscene and housing service.

A school administration apprenticeship has also been created at Westmoor Junior School, in Dewsbury.