Searching for The Apprentice

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BUSINESSES are being urged to hire young people as part of a new apprenticeship programme launching next week.

The 100 in 100 apprenticeship challenge is asking organisations, large and small, regardless of their business, to pledge to take on an apprentice to help Milton Keynes as a whole employ 100 apprentices in 100 days.

The initiative is being coordinated by a partnership made up of Milton Keynes Council, MK Dons Sport and Education Trust, thecentre:mk and Thames Valley Regional Network.

The campaign will be officially launched during the MK Dons SET’s Business and the Community Breakfast on August 21 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Milton Keynes.

Dignitaries, employers, voluntary sector organisations and other stakeholders have been invited to hear how they can get involved in addition to hearing from Karl Robinson how preparations for the new season are working, exclusive feedback on the first couple of matches, and how apprentices work for his part of the business.

Crissi Aboukhatwa of the Milton Keynes Council 14-19 Team said: “We know that unemployment among the young is at a record level and there are numerous talented young people who are desperate to start work.

“There are also local businesses which need apprentices.”

The importance of this initiative is high with a national UK unemployment rate of more than 20 per cent for 16-24 year olds.

Crissi added: “Our campaign aims to bring these two groups together, tying up potential apprentices with potential employers.

“With the August launch it has been timed to coincide with the start of the new academic year, September 2011-2012.

“It is a big challenge but we think it’s achievable.”

Christian Eyles, an apprentice with MK Dons SET, said: “I wanted to do something practical when I left school. Joining the MK Dons SET as an apprentice has given me a great opportunity to gain skills whilst doing a real job – I’d recommend it to anybody.”

To see how employers or training providers can get involved with the 100 in 100 campaign a new website has been launched at where you can ‘pledge’ in an online form.

> To book on to the Business and The Community Breakfast you can either e-mail or ring 01908 622888.