BUSINESS are being urged to build their companies and expand by taking on apprentices.
Blackpool Council’s Chance2Shine programme aims to make it easier for employers to hire young people, and give them their first step on the jobs ladder.
Hundreds of Fylde coast businesses attended a session at the newly-opened Oracle building on St Annes Road, South Shore, to learn how to develop their workforce.
Simon Blackburn, leader of Blackpool Council, said: “It is no secret the jobs market is very difficult for young people at the moment.
“I have spoken to a lot of employers in Blackpool who are extremely keen to hire young people as part of their jobs plan, giving them opportunities to make the best start to their working lives with jobs that have real, long-term benefits.”
Chance2Shine will work with Blackpool and the Fylde College to give companies a course which will suit their apprentices.
Rebecca Gooding, 19, of Hyde Road, South Shore, has been looking for a job since leaving school in 2009.
She said: “It’s very hard to find work because there are no jobs available and you need experience to get one.
“I’ve had interviews but it’s disheartening to keep getting knocked back.”
Richard Halstead, training and operations manager at the Sandcastle Waterpark, has taken on a number of apprentices.
He said: “Businesses should really consider it because it gives them all sorts of advantages and it helps with training.”