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Neil reboots as apprentice

Lewis Stanton has been taken on as an apprentice at CB Computers in South Shore, Blackpool

Lewis Stanton has been taken on as an apprentice at CB Computers in South Shore, Blackpool

A businessman has called on other companies to follow his lead and hire apprentices.

Neil Raine, from CB Computers, in South Shore, has recently taken on his own apprentice, and first employee, at his shop on Waterloo Road.

Mr Raine hired 23-year-old Lewis Stanton, from Blackpool, to work at the computer repair shop on its website and graphic design.

Mr Raine, who opened his business in June, said: “I’ve hired him as an apprentice so that he can get a proper wage as well as gaining a qualification.

“I was looking for funding that would pay his wage and an apprenticeship was the perfect opportunity.

“If I’m a sole trader who has been open for such a short space of time yet can still hire an apprentice then anybody could be able to.”

Mr Raine’s call comes during a campaign held jointly by Blackpool Council and National Apprenticeship Service to create and fill 100 apprenticeships in 100 days.

So far, 72 new apprentice vacancies have been created since the start of the campaign, with 60 of those filled with new starts so far.

There is just less than a month to go before the campaign is due to end.

Mr Raine added: “Now as an apprentice Lewis can work on the website and do some graphic design for the company.

“Before, I could not do the repairs and look after customers at the same time, now we share it out.

“We both have different skills and are learning new things off each other.

“It’s really useful to have him on board.”

Lewis, of Devonshire Square, said the apprenticeship is perfect for him as his real passion lies with computing.

He said: “After studying IT and computing at sixth form college, I got a job as a receptionist.

“Being able to study towards a qualification while working is great.

“I work three days in the shop and have one day in college.

“I’m working towards a foundation degree in computing.”

The campaign to create and fill 100 extra apprenticeship posts will run until November 8.

Any employers wanting to find out more about taking on an apprentice can contact the campaign by emailing apprenticeships@blackpool.gov.uk or calling 07776 498581.

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