Magic carpet ride to a career

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A TEENAGER who left school for an apprenticeship has been on a magic carpet ride ever since, thanks to a Gazette campaign.

We have teamed up with Beneast Training to relaunch a scheme to get 100 apprentices into work in 100 days, after a successful project in 2010.

When teenager Cameron Schofield left Fleetwood Sports College last year he was not sure about the type of career path he wanted to take.

One thing the 18-year-old was sure about was he wanted to gain practical work experience and earn a wage.

He registered with Beneast Training and took part in a pre-employment skills and assessment programme.

During the course, potential careers paths were identified and he soon began working at a carpet retailer in Blackpool.

Cameron told The Gazette: “I couldn’t see myself at college studying for something which may not result in a job.

“I wanted to gain work experience and start building my qualifications, and earn money at the same time.

“I’ve succeeded in achieving a Level 2 apprenticeship in retail and can honestly say this qualification will stand me in good stead for the future.”

The company said the move had made them more keen to secure future apprentices.

Michelle Malley, secretary at Peter Jones Carpets, said: “Up until we attended last year’s Future Generations event we had not considered taking on an apprentice, we listened and liked what we heard.

“Within a few days, they were able to provide a number of short-listed candidates for us to interview.

“We’re glad to say Cameron, made the grade and we took him on board as our very first retail apprentice. Cameron has been here nearly 12 months and has made great progress. We are hoping in the future to offer another young person an apprenticeship position.”

Sara Gaskell, head of marketing at Beneast Training, said: “There has never been a better time for local employers to look at ways of improving their efficiency and sales. One such way, especially in the retail industry, is to provide high quality training that increases staff motivation and leads to better customer service.

“Beneast offer a wide range of training solutions, many of which are delivered completely free to employers taking on new apprentices or for those employers who wish to up-skill their workforce.”