A scheme to get youngsters on the career ladder in Blackpool has smashed its target.
Blackpool Council has helped to create 149 apprenticeships in the last 100 days, far exceeding its goal of 100.
Supported by the National Apprenticeship Service, the council has encouraged local employers to take on young people and allow them to earn while they learn.
Katie Woodhams, 18, from Blackpool, had been struggling to get a job before she found a business and administration apprenticeship with national training provider Intraining.
She said: “I tried college but it didn’t work out for me.
“I actually got a job as a waitress in a hotel but I got ill and they laid me off.
“Then, I was looking for another job and my mum mentioned an apprenticeship and it seemed like the best idea – I should have done that first.”
Connor Hammond, from South Shore, turned to an apprenticeship with construction firm RP Tyson on Mitcham Road, Marton, after leaving the Armed Forces.
The 21-year-old said: “I did one when I was 16, then, within two weeks of getting out of the Army, I applied for the apprenticeship at RP Tyson.”
Nicola Laverick, 19, from Layton, said her apprenticeship working in sales at Ace Security Systems, on Dickson Road, North Shore, had helped develop her confidence while getting valuable experience.
She said: “I tried for a while to get a job while I was in college, then I started looking for apprenticeships. I would definitely recommend it.”
The council held a two-week roadshow in Blackpool to promote apprenticeships and staff at its Connexions office helped youngsters apply for posts.
Coun Fred Jackson, deputy leader of Blackpool Council, said: “Thanks to the campaign, this council has helped get 149 young people in Blackpool away from unemployment and into work.
“That is an achievement that should be applauded.”
Council will carry on its bid to boost apprentices
With young people now expected to stay in education or training until they are 17, apprenticeships are becoming a popular choice.
Coun Fred Jackson said: “There are a number of businesses which have taken on an apprentice for the first time.
“Just because the challenge has been completed doesn’t mean we will stop our hard work.”
Sue Price, of the National Apprenticeship Service, said: “The results are outstanding – credit should go to every employer that has taken part.”