The Apprentice Store joins forces with DYW Inverness & Central Highland on Young Person’s Guarantee

David Massey managing director of The Apprentice Store

THE APPRENTICE Store has become the latest business in the Scottish Highlands to sign the Young Person’s Guarantee, formalising its commitment to providing new routes into the world of work for young people.

The social enterprise has made the pledge with the support of Developing the Young Workforce Inverness & Central Highland (DYWICH) which brings together educators and business leaders to upskill the next generation of the Highland workforce.

David Massey, managing director of The Apprentice Store, has been working with schools across the Highlands and Moray – as well as on national initiatives – since 2000 to help young people transition into their working lives.

He said: “The Apprentice Store was set up to support young people into the world of work by providing sustainable employment opportunities, and it is fantastic to have that formally recognised by the Young Person’s Guarantee.

“As part of our pledge, we will continue to engage with local schools, charities and DYWICH – providing work experience placements, modern apprenticeships, mock interviews and career advice. We have also committed to employing five young people, providing new opportunities for school leavers in the region.

“Signing the Young Person’s Guarantee is a commitment to investing in the future of your business and your community, and I would recommend every business in the Highlands get involved. Young people are incredibly important for all businesses, as they bring with them different experiences and perspectives – and by providing these opportunities, you can encourage new talent to remain in the local area instead of seeking employment elsewhere.

“I firmly believe it is every business owner’s responsibility to nurture young talent, and help young people transition from education into work.”

The Apprentice Store was created to allow SMEs across Scotland to engage with apprenticeships when their need for skilled practitioners is neither full-time nor long-term. Clients access quality outsourced IT support, cyber security and web development services delivered by apprentices. The Apprentice Store supports this by creating sustainable employment for young people through modern apprenticeships, with its chair Andy Maxtone having formerly been programme manager at DYWICH.

DYWICH operations manager Gregor Campbell said: “We’re thrilled that The Apprentice Store has chosen to sign the Young Person’s Guarantee. The team there does so much to prepare young people in the Highlands for their careers, and it is wonderful for them to cement that by making this pledge.

“Any business can sign the guarantee, and the beauty of the scheme is that the pledges are completely flexible. Whether a business can spare an afternoon in a school talking about career opportunities, or offer a full apprenticeship, every interaction with young people helps us inspire a new generation and retain a young, vibrant and enthusiastic workforce in the Highlands.”

Developing the Young Workforce Inverness & Central Highland is part of a national framework of regional employer-led boards across Scotland. Formed as part of the Scottish Government’s youth employment strategy, and hosted by Inverness Chamber of Commerce, the group’s aim is to develop sustainable links between schools, colleges and employers. Working in partnership with employers, DYWICH is shaping the workforce of the future and helping to better prepare young people for the world of work.

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