Herald and Gazette 100 in 100 apprentice campaign prompts strong response from employers across Worthing, Shoreham and Littlehampton

THERE has been a strong response to the 100 in 100 apprentice campaign which is fast capturing the imagination of a companies across the area.

Among the first to pledge support, taking the first week tally to 17 apprentice placements found through Northbrook College across the Herald and Gazette area, is South Coast nursing homes.

The firm, which operates quality care facilities around the county, plans to offer more than a dozen apprenticeships to its existing staff within its Berkeley Lodge site in Shelley Road, Worthing.

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As company director Chris Colville explained, he believed engaging with the college to offer formal qualifications to its employees would be of great benefit both to the company and its team.

“We wanted to get involved with apprenticeships as we are committed to developing our staff to the highest standards. It will give young people the chance to understand what social healthcare is all about – it can be a very exciting career,” said Mr Colville, of the family-owned firm which started out in 1959. He said the company, which opened its 65-bed Berkeley Lodge care home in 2010, has prided itself on providing full-time accommodation and support to hundreds of elderly people across the county.

He added: “We have been doing well and Berkeley has created 100 jobs in the area since it opened 18 months ago.

The benefit of young people doing these apprenticeships is that it gives them skills for life. Further education at university isn’t necessarily alot of young people who may not be able to afford it, so this is an obvious way for them to further themselves.

I’ve been working for the company for seven years now and it’s something I am very proud of as the firm was started by my grandparents. There’s a lot of history to it and it is important to us to employ local people.”

Anne Feldberg, business development manager at Northbrook College, welcomed the progress made for the 100 in 100 campaign.

She said: “The campaign has going well as we’ve had 17 confirmed pledges and there could be around 40 more on the way, including placements in customer services at IT company Damovo in Horsham, as well as those at South Coast Nursing homes.”

Northbrook College is planning a series of events over the course of the campaign to ensure that businesses have every opportunity of making the most of our challenge. See next week’s Herald and Gazette for details.