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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

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Struggling to fill apprenticeships in north Cumbria

Forty eight apprenticeships in and around north Cumbria are going begging, despite record levels of youth unemployment.

All should lead to permanent jobs and are available through the Carlisle provider RWP Training.

They include business administration, hairdressing, childcare and teaching assistants’ posts.

Richard Polyblank, chief executive of RWP, launched a campaign last autumn to persuade employers to take on apprentices.

The campaign was a success and he expected to be overwhelmed by eager applicants.

Instead, he is struggling to fill the vacancies.

That is despite advertisements on CFM Radio and banners put up outside his premises in London Road.

Mr Polyblank said: “We wanted to see what we could do to help young people who are out of work.

“So we took on a recruitment specialist, Beth Voisey, to target employers.

“Since the campaign started at the end of November we’ve placed about 15 young people.

“As of today we have 48 vacancies we want to fill.

“There are a lot of young people who may be academically bright and motivated but don’t want the cost of going to university. This is ideal for them.”

The youngsters, aged 16 upwards, earn £2.60 an hour while they are apprentices.

After one year – or two years for hairdressing – they move on to the normal salary for the job.

RWP has vacancies in business administration in Carlisle, Dalston, Wigton, Workington, Cleator Moor, Newcastleton and Kendal.

There are child-minder and nursery-assistant vacancies in Penrith, Brampton, Workington, Kirkby Stephen and one just outside Carlisle.

Hairdressing apprenticeships are available in Carlisle, Wigton, Penrith, Keswick and Alston, and there are vacancies for apprentice teaching assistants in Penrith and west Cumbria.

The required qualifications vary for each post.

Mr Polyblank added: “Times are hard but successful companies are managing their way through it.

“The more apprenticeship opportunities we create, the fewer unemployed young people we will have.”

Call RWP Training on 01228 593446 or visit www.rwp.co.uk

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