A partnership, set up to help create apprenticeships and work experience opportunities in West Lancashire, has reached an important milestone.
19-year-old Stacey Fendle earned the 200th apprenticeship created by the West Lancashire Challenge Project when she was taken on by M&D Cleaning Supplies to train in customer services.
Stacey, of Up Holland, had completed a course in fashion and design at West Lancashire College but decided she wanted to pursue a different career. She applied for the apprenticeship at M&D Cleaning Supplies after attending a careers evening at West Lancashire College.
The Challenge project is delivered by a core partnership of West Lancashire Council for Voluntary Service, West Lancashire Borough Council and West Lancashire College. It also aims to offer one to one support to people facing barriers to employment, training and volunteering, increase participation in volunteering, and build stronger communities.
Mandy Trevarton, M&D Cleaning Supplies operations manager, said: “After learning about apprenticeship schemes at a West Lancashire Challenge event at West Lancashire College we felt we wanted to support this and that we could take on an apprentice.
“Even though Stacey hasn’t finished her apprenticeship term we want her as part of our team and have offered her a permanent position. She works hard and is responsible for two of our top customers, which shows how highly we value her.”
Stacey said: “I am really grateful to the West Lancashire Challenge team for helping me start my new career. I never really thought I would go into an apprenticeship, but I was having a look around and when I went to the apprenticeship event at West Lancashire College I was told someone would be interested in taking me on.
“The Challenge team gave me a lot of tips on what to do and not to do when preparing for the interview. Now I am really happy working with M&D Cleaning Supplies and the training I have received is excellent. I am delighted they have given me a permanent full-time job, which I will start while completing my apprenticeship qualification.”
In creating its 200th apprenticeship the Challenge project, which started in 2011, has far exceeded its original target of 50 apprenticeships.
Councillor Adrian Owens, portfolio holder for Regeneration, said: “If you are interested in providing apprenticeship opportunities within your business, or are looking for apprenticeship opportunities, please contact the Challenge team on: Tel: 01695 712645 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.