MP hails Eastbourne apprentice drive ‘a huge success’

Stephen Lloyd MP with the celebratory cake Barnaby Bee and some of the new apprentices
Stephen Lloyd MP with the celebratory cake Barnaby Bee and some of the new apprentices

EASTBOURNE’S successful 100 Apprentices in 100 Days Challenge drew to a close this month with a ceremony at the Town Hall.

Apprentices, employers and training providers were present to celebrate smashing the target with an impressive 181 apprenticeships being pledged over the 100 days.

Stephen Lloyd MP, who has spearheaded the campaign in partnership with the MP’s Commission and the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), was there to present the certificates to the apprentices.

Mr Lloyd said, “The huge success of the scheme is another example of just how the people of Eastbourne are coming together in common cause, which is vital if we are to weather the current economic climate.

“I’m also determined that Eastbourne comes through better placed for when the national economy recovers.

“We have done fantastically well recently in Eastbourne and I will continue to work hard to ensure new jobs are created and local businesses continue to grow.”

Gavin Graham, regional manager for the NAS, added, “This final result has gone well beyond my expectations.

“There have been a few of these campaigns run nationally, and this has been by far the best example.”

Bev Toogood of Little Sunflowers, the online children’s and fashion shop, who addressed those at the closing ceremony, said, “Since deciding to hire an apprentice, we haven’t looked back. She’s been here a month and has fitted in well adding real value to the business.

“The whole process was incredibly straightforward and professional and the standard of the applicants was extremely high – the business was even able to save money on normal recruitment costs.”

Eloise Wright, an administrative apprentice with Hearing Link who also spoke to those at the closing ceremony, said, “I think the challenge has been fantastic as it’s helped me get a job.

The challenge officially ended on August 28 with 181 apprenticeships pledged locally, and well over half of those positions filled.

The rest of those positions will be filled between now and Christmas with details available on the NAS website.