You have a social responsibility to recruit apprentices, firms told

Hoseasons managing director Simon Altham pictured with workers. Picture RYAN MASON

Hoseasons managing director Simon Altham pictured with workers. Picture RYAN MASON - Credit: Archant

Coastal businesses have a social responsibility to help the community by providing apprenticeship opportunities for young people in their town, a leading employer in the area has said.

Simon Altham, managing director of Lowestoft-based holiday firm Hoseasons, made the plea for firms in the town to help youngsters get a foot on the ladder as the company launched its annual campaign to recruit 10 more apprentices to its ranks.

Mr Altham said: 'Lowestoft still does have its challenges in terms of opportunities for young people because it is at the end of the line.

'It means young people can often feel there are not a lot of opportunities on the doorstep and that they have to leave or travel to get them.'

However, he believes that Hoseasons, which has seen a record summer for sales for the sixth year in a row, is an example of the opportunities available in the town.

But he said: 'Businesses that operate in Lowestoft have a social responsibility to help the community, as well as apprentices. One way of doing that is if we can help underprivileged people by giving them opportunity, hope and a great future right here in Lowestoft. That's what responsible employers in the community should be doing.'

The company, which has made a commitment for five per cent of its workforce to be apprenticeships, expects many applications for the roles before its October 10 deadline.

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Although Hoseasons is looking for basic skills such as English and maths, it is mainly looking 'people that have got a really positive attitude around effort and hard work'.

Those who apply will go through a rigorous recruitment process including interviews and group tasks, although head of HR Matt Smith hopes even those that are unsuccessful will go away with a positive impression of the company and having learned some new skills.

Those who are successful will be deployed in variety of roles including digital design, customer service and sales. But Mr Altham said: 'It's not a one-way street. It's our job to nurture them. If we take on an apprentice, we should be prepared to invest time and effort in them. It is a pleasure watching them develop and change their lives.' Those interested in applying should visit and search for Hoseasons, where a video featuring existing apprentices can also be viewed.

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