Take One Takes On Its 100th Merton Apprentice

Local businesses back Chamber of Commerce initiative

With the support of more than 40 local businesses, from hairdressers to office suppliers, Merton Chamber of Commerce's Take One campaign has seen 100 Apprentice vacancies identified in the borough just six months.

Michael Howden was Take One's first Apprentice in June 2013 and continues to work at Mpire Support Services in Mitcham, whilst newly recruited Nathaniel Murray became the 100th Apprentice in January 2014, working for the Generator Business Centre.

Take One's success doesn’t stop there, with another seven Apprenticeship places from the local area being agreed with Social Enterprise Press, also based in Mitcham.

Take One was designed and set up by Merton Chamber of Commerce to encourage local businesses to give young people a chance and step up onto the employment ladder.

Acting as a broker and matching local employer’s needs to local training providers and a pool of available young people, has meant that employment can be quick and affordable for the employer.

Home Instead, supplier of care services in the home in and around Wimbledon, took on an Apprentice in 2013. Following a pre-screening of candidates to see if they had the skillset needed for the role, undertaken by training provider Capital Training.

Managing Director Clare Jefferies believes taking on an apprentice is "a win-win situation for both the company and the Apprentice".

Clare is very pleased with the progress of her apprentice and is even planning to promote her once the apprenticeship is over. “Emma had no office experience before this but has taken to it like a duck to water. She is brilliant – always smiling and nothing is too much trouble.” With the help of Capital Training once again, they aim to take on another Apprentice.

Diana Sterck, CEO Merton Chamber of Commerce, explained why she believes Take One is so important: "Most of us have links with young people, whether through family, friends or activities that we are involved with. I am so often impressed by the enthusiasm and talent of young people, yet so many of them struggle to find work and an opportunity to help them develop their skills, contribute to society and the economy as a whole. Young people are our future and an Apprenticeship is a great way of giving them that essential introduction to the world of work."

Merton Chamber of Commerce says it’s thankful to all the businesses that have been involved in Take One and welcome many more in 2014! To see the list of businesses involved, go to www.mertonmeansbusiness.co.uk or call Merton Chamber of Commerce on 020 8944 5501.

February 3, 2014