Norwich firm backs jobs campaign by taking on apprentices
13:47 02 October 2013
Taking on apprentices need not be a daunting proposition - that was the clear message from a leading Norwich heating engineers.
Gasway, based on the city’s Sweet Briar Industrial Estate, has taken on three new apprentices in support of the Norwich For Jobs campaign.
And operations director Barry Ellis said: “A lot of companies are put off because they think there is too much to it, but by going through the training provider, JTL, there were no hassles - they were able to help us source funding as well as sort out training.
“Through JTL, support from a tool company meant our three apprentices were even supplied with a set of hand tools.”
The teenagers, Jamie Smith, Ellery Bishop and Harry Mason, all live in the city where MP Chloe Smith is leading her campaign, Norwich For Jobs, to halve the rate of youth unemployment.
Mr Ellis said the rapid expansion of Gasway meant it was vital to find young people with the right attitude to train up.
He said: “I have been here five years and there were 46 staff when I started; that has grown to 97.
“We have been successful in securing social housing work over the past three years and have grown into that.
“We look after 16,500 Norwich City Council homes and our most recent contract was with Waveney District Council.”
He said there had also been a healthy expansion in their private sector cover plan work.
Mr Ellis said: “More than 40pc of our 70 field engineers started as trainees and several of our senior managers have progressed from being trainees.”
He said he felt passionately it was important to give young people a step up and was delighted to be able to pledge two apprentices to Norwich For Jobs. “In the end, we took on three,” he said.
Since Norwich For Jobs was launched at the end of January more than 270 jobs, 149 apprentices and 191 work experience opportunities have been pledged by employers.
The city’s unemployment in the 18 to 24 age group has decreased 15pc since the campaign started.
Miss Smith said: “I am delighted that Gasway have pledged their support to the Norwich for Jobs campaign and have taken on three young people. The fact that so many of their current workforce started out as trainees shows their understanding and appreciation of the benefits that young people can bring to businesses.
“I am really pleased on behalf of the campaign that the figures now show a big drop in youth unemployment in Norwich.
“We are grateful to the 65 local employers who have offered help for local young people through the campaign.
“We are now a third of the way through the campaign - please sign up to be part of it if you are a local employer.”
Employers should email firstname.lastname@example.org to show their support.