Garners hires first apprentice

Nottingham catering equipment distributor Garners has taken advantage of a local employment initiative to hire its first apprentice in 30 years.

Apprenticeships have been a hot topic in the market of late, with various trade bodies pledging to promote the benefits of bringing young talent into the industry.

Garners found its latest recruit after its own research into apprenticeship opportunities led it to the Nottingham Job Fund (NJF), a council employment scheme that is aiming to help 400+ people above the age of 18 get into work.

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The apprentice it has hired will serve as a projects co-ordinator and, like other similar schemes, Garners will receive support for wages. The company can make a decision in a year’s time whether to take the person on full-time.

Tina Dodsley, finance director at Garners, said that if the experiment goes well it could persuade the company to go further down the apprenticeship route.

“We will most likely be taking on an apprentice to cover for an employee’s maternity leave from November and will also consider further apprenticeships if there is a requirement within our business to do so,” she said.

Bodies such as CEDA and CESA have been raising awareness of apprenticeships this year, and Dodsley agrees that suppliers and manufacturers should be doing more on this front.

“We believe that such an approach is beneficial to all parties and would look to both other industries such as engineering and countries such as Germany as good examples.”

However, Dodsley added it was “disappointing” that Garners had to look for the NJF, rather than the opportunity arising through promotion or marketing. This, she said, suggests that there needs to be greater awareness around the subject.

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