First SSI Apprentice finds new job backed by Taskforce funding

Amanda Skelton, chair of the SSI Taskforce and Chief Executive of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council,  Apprentice Adam Ward and Skills Minister Nick Boles

Skills Minister Nick Boles has met the first former SSI Apprentice to secure work with the support of Taskforce funding during a visit to Tees Valley.
Adam Ward, of Ingleby Barwick, a fourth year Apprentice electrician, who is due to complete his training in July, now is employed by the Wilton Centre.
The 19-year-old has been taken on by Fasset FM Services Ltd, which manages the 75-acre business and science park near Redcar.
Adam’s new employment is benefitting from the £1.7m fund that has been created to encourage employers to take on one or more of the 50 ex-SSI Apprentices. 
Employers will be given the full salary and additional training costs to cover the remainder of the Apprenticeship. 

Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “The Apprentices and workers I met today in Redcar have shown great strength after a very difficult period.

“I am determined to ensure the Government continues to do everything it can to provide them with the right support. With the local Taskforce, we have set up funding for affected workers and apprentices to retrain and find new jobs.”

Adam said: “I was really worried about the future and that years of hard work were going to go to waste after the steelworks closed as I was nearing the completion of my apprenticeship.
“I can hardly believe that I have managed to find a job at another company so quickly. I am extremely grateful to the Wilton Centre for taking me on and for the support I am getting from the Taskforce.”

Wilton Centre Site Director Steve Duffield said: “Adam had demonstrated commitment and hard work and we were pleased to offer him the opportunity to complete his apprenticeship and prepare him for long term skilled employment.
“He is an extremely capable young person with great potential and we are delighted to be able to provide him with some high quality support to finish his training programme that will be enhanced by the broad range of experience that working at the Centre can provide.  It is a very positive conclusion to an unfortunate situation.” 

Paul Booth, chair of Tees Valley Unlimited, the Local Enterprise Partnership for Tees Valley, said:   “The potential of the former SSI apprentices must not be lost to the local economy and I would urge other companies to follow Wilton Centre’s lead and consider employing these young people who are vital to ensuring the area has a future generation of skilled workers.”

All six Year 1 SSI Apprentices are back in full-time training, with the Middlesbrough-based technical training provider TTE, and employers are being sought to employ them with salaries covered by the fund.
Year 3 & 4 Apprentices currently are being matched with companies which have applied to take them on – several companies have been approved for the funding and these placements will start shortly again managed and assessed by TTE.

Amanda Skelton, chair of the SSI Taskforce and Chief Executive of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, said: “We wanted to see people back in jobs as quickly as possible and it is great to see that the support, to ensure former SSI apprentices can continue to learn a trade, has got off to such a successful start.
“A skilled apprentice is a long-term asset for a company and we are confident that in the coming weeks more former SSI apprentices will be found employment with local businesses.”

Steve Grant, Managing Director of TTE, said: “The skills and competencies the apprentices gained with SSI will be of real benefit to other employers across the area and we are really pleased to see Adam matched with Fasset FM Services that runs the Wilton Centre. 
“TTE has been working closely with the Taskforce since the closure to help the apprentices complete their training and secure placements and employment.  They will add value to the workforces of business across the region and TTE is committed to supporting the remainder of their apprenticeship training. ”

Having undertaken the majority of his apprenticeship with SSI, Adam will complete the training framework and qualifications with the Wilton Centre as a member of the Fasset FM Services team. 
As part of the company’s workforce, his work will be assessed by TTE, which has overseen and supported Adam throughout his apprenticeship.
The Wilton Centre provides office, laboratory and pilot plant accommodation.
The spacious complex, which includes a restaurant, gym and meeting rooms, is home to 60 companies including a number of prestigious multi-nationals.
Companies are being urged to send in applications in as soon as possible so that all the Apprentices can be found a place.   Information and forms can be found at on the Tees Valley Unlimited website