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Job done! Ladder for the Black Country apprentices campaign hits 1,000 mark

Staffordshire | | Published:

The Express & Star's flagship Ladder for the Black Country apprenticeship campaign has smashed through the 1,000 mark and today was praised by the Prime Minister.

David Cameron said hundreds of young people now had a 'bright future' thanks to the scheme which has seen more than 200 companies take on apprentices.

Mr Cameron said: "I'm delighted that the Ladder for the Black Country is proving so successful. It's great news for more than 1,000 young people who have signed up and are looking forward to a bright future, and for the hundreds of businesses which are benefiting from fresh talent. The popularity of these schemes reflects the fantastic opportunities that apprenticeships afford.

"Apprenticeships are absolutely essential in providing the skills and training required for our young people to compete with the best the rest of the world has to offer."

The Ladder for the Black Country was launched 18 months ago and has seen 780 apprenticeships created in the Black Country. Its success saw it expanded with the creation of the Ladder for Staffordshire and the Ladder for Shropshire, each generating 193 apprenticeships – a grand total of 1,166 across the region.

Employers small, medium, and big, have come aboard creating hundreds of opportunities for young people and helping them take their first steps on the career ladder.

Express & Star Editor Keith Harrison said: "It is absolutely fantastic. Credit must go to the companies which have taken on young people and shown belief in them and their skills to give them life changing opportunities."

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

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The Ladder for the Black Country was launched in September 2014 with the Duke of York as its patron.

It is run by the Express & Star with training provider Performance Through People (PTP), charity the Vine Trust, the Black Country Chamber of Commerce and supported by Walsall Council.

The Duke will host a special event to mark the achievement of the Ladder for the Black Country at St James's Palace next week.

Rob Colbourne, managing director of PTP, said: "To hit the 1,000 mark from employers who are committed to support apprenticeships is a fantastic testament to the hard work partners have put in. To speak to apprentices who were unemployed or studying subjects at school that had no connection to the career path they were interested in, who are now employed, working towards a qualification that is relevant and has further progression, fills me with great confidence for the future.

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