Ladder for the Black Country apprenticeships are bang on target for football fans

Six more firms have pledged to take on new apprentices as the Ladder for the Black Country campaign gathers pace.

Ladder for the Black Country apprenticeships are bang on target for football fans

Jobs working on England football programmes and media computer systems are among the latest exciting opportunities through the scheme, with 122 places up for grabs, just over three weeks after the project was launched.

The Express & Star's sister company Precision Colour Printing (PCP) is among the latest employers to sign up to the scheme.

The new 10 colour sheet-fed press being installed by PCP

PCP has a total of three vacancies, two of them working in the print shops and a third one working in sales.

PCP managing director Alex Evans said the company worked on a number of prestigious products.

"We print match-day programmes for Manchester United, and we also work on the programmes for England matches," he said.

"We print a number of special interest magazines that you see on the news stands, car magazines, knitting and fishing magazines, as well as trade catalogues and holiday brochures."

Head of human resources at PCP Sam James said it was an exciting time to be working in the printing industry.

There are exciting opportunities working for apprentices with Precision Colour Printing

"We are one of only a handful of real high-quality print businesses out there," she said.

"Our customers are all over the UK, and some of the publications are in mainland Europe, at the moment we are seeing big growth in the men's health sector."

Miss James said the sales vacancy would involve all aspects of print sales, including estimating, customer services and helping build up the customer base.

"They would need to be able to interface with people, and go out on customer visits," she said.

The successful applicant will be trained for an NVQ qualification in customer service.

Miss James said the company was also hoping to recruit apprentices in mechanical printing and print-finishing, which includes binding publications once they have been printed.

She said the company was looking at recruiting people with a view to long-term careers.

"It's not about 'come and work for us for two years, and then you're back out there,' it's about people offering training for a long-term career," she said.

Another sister company to the Express & Star, Press Computer Systems (PCS), is also looking for an apprentice.

PCS, which develops computer software for the media industry, is looking to train somebody for a front-line role working on its class-leading Knowledge computer system.

PCS's Matthew Cole said the post would involve taking calls and queries from customers, and providing support to the specialist team.

PCS managing director Phil Walker said: "We believe heavily in recruiting young talent to help the business grow and we are pleased to have run successful apprenticeships across PCS in recent years, with such an approach still forming a key part of our recruitment policy".

BrierleyHill-based Sunrise Medical is also among the latest companies to sign up, agreeing to take on four new apprentices.

Age UK, Reed Accountancy, and Wolverhampton-based agricultural and environmental consultancy Adas have also applied to take part in the scheme, although the details are still being finalised.

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