A Pelsall man has become the 500th apprentice at Walsall Council’s apprenticeship scheme.
Former Shelfield Academy pupil Chris Winter, aged 22, has begun an engineering and manufacturing apprenticeship with training provider In-Comm.
“I’d left school and began labouring on a building site and then did a carpentry course at a local college and became self-employed,” he said. “But work just dried up and I had to sign on for a couple of months.”
He said he did not hesitate to apply when he saw the opportunity to enrol as an engineering and manufacturing apprentice.
“I applied for the vacancy and it’s a decision I don’t regret as I really enjoy what I’m learning,” he said. “I’d recommend an apprenticeship to absolutely anyone. It’s the best thing you can do.”
He is joined by Marcus Tonks, 21 from Brownhills, who became the 501st apprentice to be signed up.
Over the next few months, they will be instructed in fabrication and welding techniques, including TIG, MIG and ARC welding at In-Comms’ training centre in Aldridge, before transferring across to Walsall manufacturing firm European Heathyards in March next year to complete their training.
Walsall Works is the Council’s multi-million pound apprenticeship programme, which offers incentive payments for local employers to recruit young people as an apprentice.
As well as engineering and manufacturing, the scheme supports young people aged 16-24 to secure a full apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship in engineering, construction, sports, health and social care, ICT, warehousing, financial, professional and business services.
Councillor Adrian Andrew, portfolio holder for regeneration at Walsall Council Coalition, said: “It’s one of our top priorities to help businesses create jobs and opportunities for young people in Walsall.”
Walsall Council’s portfolio holder for finance, Cllr Chris Towe added: “It’s wonderful that we have been able to support 500 young people onto an apprenticeship and we look forward to continuing this success.”
Any young person who is unemployed, not in training and education who is interested in an apprenticeship should contact Walsall Works on 01922 654353 or email firstname.lastname@example.org