ONE of Nottingham’s best-known firms has backed the Post’s apprentice campaign.
Boots has pledged to take on 20 apprentices in support of the Get Notts Working drive.
Recruitment is currently open, with the apprentices starting work in November.
They will be able to work in a number of sectors, including HR, finance, ICT, marketing and supply chain.
Stephanie Mawer, manager of the firm’s talent programme, said: “Apprentices are vital to our business. We are always looking for new talent to come in and bring fresh ideas.”
Boots is seeking people aged 18 and over who have GCSEs in English and maths and three A levels or equivalent at grades C or above.
They will do a two-year apprenticeship, supported by Babington Group, which will lead to a level-four diploma in business administrative management. This can then lead on to a foundation degree.
Ms Mawer added: “In 2011 we took on 17 apprentices and in 2012 we took on a further 19.”
Zoe Rownsley, 19, started work in the HR department last November.
She has been tasked with arranging a visit to the firm’s Lenton base for 100 people aged between 14 and 19 over two weeks. They will find out about how the firm works, meet chief executive Alex Gourlay and have a tour of the site.
Zoe said: “It’s been challenging. I came in on my first day and was given the project to manage straight away. I’ve been arranging it and it’s been a really good experience.
“I have been given a lot of responsibility but I feel like it has gone very well.”
The apprentices were behind running Boots’ Big Conversation event on May 2, where firms were invited to find out about how apprenticeships could benefit their work.
Tina Parker, national account delivery manager for Babington Group, visits the apprentices once a week for a half-day class and keeps check on their progress.
She said: “It’s great for them. They learn a trade, get qualifications and get paid as well.
“At the same time they build confidence, which gives them a great start to their working life.”
The Post is looking to create 300 apprentice places in 100 days. Boots’ pledge has helped to take the current total to more than 180.
The campaign is being run with the Derbyshire and Notts Chamber of Commerce, the National Apprenticeship Service, Nottingham City Council and the Nottinghamshire City and County Employment and Skills Board.