NewsBy Janet Gleeson

The Northern Echo: Apprentices Holly Watkins and Joe McKechnieApprentices Holly Watkins and Joe McKechnie

TWO youngsters have been voted apprentice of the year in a ground-breaking council scheme which has been so successful it’s being repeated.

The £100,000 project to create apprenticeships to help businesses and boost the economy was launched by the district council last year. Cash was offered to companies wishing to employ apprentices but couldn’t afford it.

Holly Watkins, who worked for Arty Party, an events company in Thirskwas named Business Apprentice of the year after she helped the company expand and move after ten years. She’s now been offered a full time job.

And Joe McKechnie was voted District Council Apprentice of the year after helping to improve develop and get funding for disability sport, helping to set up clubs across Hambleton. He has also been offered a job by the authority next year.

The council’s deputy leader Coun Peter Wilkinson said: “It has been a huge success, we have seen eight young people find apprenticeships and five of them have been offered permanent jobs.

“To be able to honour two of them, both outstanding apprentices in their own field, is very rewarding. Although it was very hard to pick the winning two, all the apprentices are of a very high standard.”

The council is now looking at extending and expanding the scheme next year with another 30 apprenticeships, they’ve already put aside £100,000 to fund it.

For more information on the apprentice scheme contact Nicole Patterson, business and communities manager, on 01609 767233 email Nicole.patterson@hambleton.gov.uk


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