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Eastbourne & Willingdon Lib Dems

181 Apprenticeships in 100 Days

September 22, 2011 5:51 PM

Eastbourne's hugely successful 100 Apprentices in 100 Days Challenge drew to a close last week with the occasion being marked by a ceremony at the Town Hall. A number of apprentices, employers and training providers were present to celebrate the fantastic achievement, of smashing the target, with a whooping 181 apprenticeships being pledged in Eastbourne over the 100 days.

Stephen Lloyd MP, who has spearheaded the campaign, in partnership with the MP's Commission and the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), was there to present the certificates to the hard-working apprentices.

Stephen Lloyd said: "The huge success of the scheme is another example of just how the people of Eastbourne are coming together in common cause, which is vital if we are to weather the current economic climate. I'm also determined that Eastbourne comes through better placed for when the national economy recovers."

Lloyd added: "For us to have been able to reach the stunning figure of 181, shows we are on the right track, to quote the late Winston Churchill: 'this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning'. We have done fantastically well recently in Eastbourne and I will continue to work hard to ensure new jobs are created and local businesses continue to grow."

Gavin Graham, regional manager for the NAS added: "This final result has gone well beyond my expectations. There have been a few of these campaigns run nationally, and this has been by far the best example. It has been a pleasure to work with Stephen, his drive and determination is infectious and his reputation locally, particularly with employers and businesses, has helped this campaign become the great success it is."

Bev Toogood of Little Sunflowers, the online children's and fashion shop, who addressed those at the closing ceremony added: "The process has been an education to me and my business, as like many others, I had made the presumption that apprenticeships mainly covered the traditional trades. However since deciding to hire an apprentice, we haven't looked back, she's been here a month and has fitted in well adding real value to the business. The whole process was incredibly straightforward and professional and the standard of the applicants was extremely high - the business was even able to save money on normal recruitment costs. I'm worried I'm becoming boring because I can't stop telling everybody about how great the whole scheme has been, much like Stephen Lloyd, the man's like a dynamo!"

Eloise, an administrative apprentice with Hearing Link who also spoke to those at the closing ceremony said: "I think the challenge has been fantastic as it's helped me get a job. I was keen to do an apprenticeship in administration or accounting, but I found there weren't many opportunities. Thankfully though, Hearing Link had signed up to Stephen Lloyd's campaign and they were advertising for an apprentice - I successfully applied and started in August. Hearing Link have been wonderful, they're incredibly friendly and are training me up from scratch, while I complete my apprenticeship through Sussex Downs on the job."

The challenge officially ended on August 28th with 181 apprenticeships pledged locally, and well over half of those positions filled. The rest of those positions will be filled between now and Christmas with details available on the NAS website.