E&S 'Ladder for the Black Country' apprentice campaign to expand

The ambitious Ladder for the Black Country apprenticeships scheme which is helping to tackle youth unemployment in the area has proved so successful it is now expanding into Shropshire.

Prince Andrew is a patron of Ladder for the Black Country and visited the Star's offices last year
Prince Andrew is a patron of Ladder for the Black Country and visited the Star's offices last year

The campaign was launched in the Express & Star in September and has already created some 160 apprenticeships and signed up 50 firms as well as hundreds of young people looking for work.

The scheme, which has Prince Andrew as its patron, was launched by the Express & Star with partners including The Vine Trust charity and training provider Performance Through People after it was revealed that the Black Country has some of the worst unemployment nationwide.

It has won the support of such political heavyweights as Prime Minister David Cameron, Labour leader Ed Miliband and Chancellor George Osborne as well as local MPs and councils.

Today the campaign moves into new ground with the launch of the Ladder for Shropshire headed up by our sister paper the Shropshire Star.

Shropshire Star editor Martin Wright today said: "For businesses, this is about knowing that a decade from now, your company will be in safe

hands, and fitted out with the skills and expertise that you have handed on.

"Today's business owners need to be able to look to the future and know that their pride and joy is in safe hands when they retire. There is no better way of making sure that happens than moulding your workforce with your own hands.

"For young people, this is about giving you the opportunity to kick start your professional life. It's about setting you on the path that could ultimately see you running your own business, or working on magnificent projects which will stay with you for the rest of your days."

Express & Star editor Keith Harrison added: "We have been delighted by the continuing success of the Ladder for the Black Country and hope to achieve similar results in Shropshire.

"As our patron, the Duke of York, has said 'local solutions are needed for local problems'. As an integral part of our communities, the Express & Star and the Shropshire Star, along with all of our partners, are helping to be that solution."

For more details about Ladder for the Black Country - both businesses and young people looking for apprenticeships - visit www.ladderfortheblackcountry.co.uk or ring 03332 409 699.

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