Food group HEART of ENGLAND fine foods (HEFF) based in Shrewsbury is backing the 100 in 100 Days Shropshire Apprenticeships Campaign and encouraging other food and drink businesses to do the same.
This campaign coincides with National Apprenticeship Week which runs from Monday 6 – Friday 10 February to draw attention to the important role of apprenticeships. The goal is for 100 apprentices to be taken on by local businesses in 100 days in any given area.
HEFF hired apprentice chef Kelly Jones in August 2011 to assist Development Chef Ed Warren in the TASTE kitchen at Shropshire Food Enterprise Centre, Shrewsbury. Miss Jones, 19, attends Shrewsbury College one day a week and works four days in the TASTE kitchen gaining the practical experience needed for her Professional Chef NVQ Level 3.
Miss Jones accompanied HEFF Chief Executive Karen Davies to the launch of the 100 in 100 Days Shropshire Apprenticeships Campaign at The Guildhall in Shrewsbury on Monda,y 30 January. Shropshire Council is working closely with the National Apprenticeship Service and Shropshire Business Board and is launching its campaign in a bid to tackle Shropshire’s youth unemployment and local skills shortage.
Miss Jones said: “I was really eager to find an apprenticeship because I wanted to work and learn at the same time. I’m gaining a lot of valuable experience which will stand me in good stead for a career as a chef and I don’t think enough young people take advantage of the opportunities available to them.”
Caroline Spelman MP, Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, visited the Shropshire Food Enterprise Centre in September 2011 to further understand the work of HEFF and discuss how to increase the take up of apprentices in the food and drink sector.
Mrs Davies said: “As a membership organisation consisting of hundreds of small food businesses we recognise that apprenticeships can have huge benefits for both the apprentice and the employer.
“We were delighted to welcome the Secretary of State to the Enterprise Centre to talk about the benefit to HEFF in having an apprentice, we are really pleased with Kelly and are keen to encourage more young people into the industry.”
For more information about HEFF visit www.heff.co.uk
For more information about apprenticeships visit www.apprenticeships.org.uk
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