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Essex: County council celebrates 3,000th apprentice

Paige Hughes, 18, who has become the 3,000th Essex Apprentice. With employer Angela Wagstaff.

Paige Hughes, 18, who has become the 3,000th Essex Apprentice. With employer Angela Wagstaff.

Archant

Council chiefs in Essex are celebrating after the authority recruited its 3,000th apprentice in five years.

The Essex Apprentice programme from the county council aims to match up apprentices with potential employers.

The 3,000th member of the scheme was Paige Hughes, who has just started at Allwag Promotions in Hatfield Peverel, a distributor of printed promotional merchandise, business gifts and corporate clothing.

Paige, 18, said: “I started sixth form but I decided it really wasn’t for me. I was really keen to start work but wanted to keep learning.

“I found out about apprenticeships and thought that it would be perfect for me as I could start work but still gain my qualifications.

“I think that a lot of young people think the only route after school is college and then uni, but an apprenticeship is a great alternative.

“I love that I can come to work each day and gain real work experience rather than sit in a lecture. I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship to other young people.

“I was really surprised at the different apprenticeships that were available. I’m doing mine in social and digital media, which is the career I always wanted to go in to and I feel that by doing the apprenticeship I’m getting a great head start.”

Angela Wagstaff, director at Allwag promotions, added: “We are committed to helping young people into employment and an apprenticeship is a great way to do this.

“Businesses can benefit greatly from taking on an apprentice. Not only are they low cost to the business, more importantly apprenticeships bring new and innovative ideas as well as an objective view on things.

“We are delighted to welcome Paige to our team. We are also pleased to have helped Essex County Council support their 3,000th apprentice into employment.”

Kevin Bentley, county councillor for economic growth said: “What a great achievement, 3,000 apprenticeships in five years.

“We understand that college and university is not for every young person and that’s why we are committed to promoting alternatives like apprenticeships. An apprenticeship offers real life work experience which is crucial nowadays within the competitive jobs market.

“I wish Paige all the luck in her new role and look forward to celebrating number 4,000.”

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