A large Cumbrian employer is encouraging people to follow the apprenticeship route as National Careers Week approaches.

Richard Rankin, chief executive of H&H Group, said he wanted to promote the benefits of apprenticeships ahead of National Careers Week next week.

The group currently employs apprentices in a variety of roles.

Mr Rankin said: “There is a perception that employing individuals with a university education is the best route, but it does not always guarantee a job at the end.

"We have looked beyond ‘traditional’ routes to work and have found apprenticeships and other careers development approaches to be a hugely valuable and mutually beneficial employment tool.

“We have a diverse workplace and workforce, and apprenticeships enrich this for us as a business and those on the programme.”

H&H Group, which has over 300 staff across the business, currently employs apprentices including Alex Scott, who is an apprentice business administrator for H&H Reeds - the printing, graphic design and web development arm of the group - whilst Chloe Brough is working as apprentice administrative assistant for H&H Insurance Brokers.

In addition, Emma Atkinson has joined Harrison & Hetherington, the livestock marketing side the group, alongside Rachel Graham and Alice Harrison, who are 17 years old and are on day release from college.

Alice Blackett, progressed from apprentice to lettings co-ordinator for H&H Land & Estates over the past seven years.

She said: “I started as a business administrative apprentice in 2013 with H&H Land & Estates, Durham. Upon completing my apprenticeship, I became permanent and have progressed to my current position as Lettings Coordinator, North East and Yorkshire region. I am thrilled to have just passed ARLA Propertymark accreditation, a level 3 Technical Award in Residential Lettings & Property Management, which H&H gave me the opportunity to do. This will help me provide better support to our lettings clients and further my career opportunities.”

National Careers Week is run annually to promote the importance of good careers education.