Yorkshire entrepreneur advocates apprenticeships

Rotherham based serial entrepreneur is urging more businesses in the region to employ apprentices, to sustain Yorkshire’s economic growth. Founder of specialist marquee firm, Jason Mace, is encouraging business owners in the county to keep your talent in the area by offering work opportunities.

The latest government figures show that apprenticeships contributed £3.7bn to the Yorkshire economy 2014. The last year saw a dramatic increase in the number of UK apprentices to 450,000 which has had a positive impact on youth unemployment rates.

Gala Tent has hired multiple apprentices since inception in 1999, and the most recent recruits to the sales and IT teams have already made an impact by bringing their own ideas to the company.

Meanwhile, apprentice Joel Price was shortlisted for the Apprentice of the Year Award at the 2014 Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber Business Awards last November.

Joel was employed by Gala Tent after receiving free help and support from LifeSkills based in Rotherham, which offers entrepreneurs in the area the option to employ young, enthusiastic candidates while they receive training in NVQ’s over a 12 month period.

Mr Mace commented: “Some companies prefer to hire experienced staff, however young people can offer a fresh perspective which in our instance has aided creativity and growth.

“Employing an apprentice gives an opportunity to mould someone and give them the specific skills that are going to benefit my business.

“In the digital sector, technology is constantly advancing and a young workforce learns quickly to keep the company at the forefront of the industry. We have a duty to develop young talent at a time when youth unemployment is far too high.”

Mr Mace concluded: “It has been very rewarding to see our apprentices develop. For an inexperienced school leaver to work in a business to business environment can be intimidating, but they have really risen to the challenge.”

Marcus Sanger, Joel Price and Lauren Hunt

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