THE STRONG message from contract manufacturing firm C-Tech is its first-ever apprentice will certainly not be its last.
The company, based in East Worthing Trading Estate, has recently hired Dominic Rhoden,20, as its first apprentice, after hearing about the Herald and Gazette’s campaign with Northbrook College.
Dominic has taken one of the now 108 apprentice places confirmed or pledged as part of the campaign, and he could soon be joined by more at C-Tech.
MD Helen Donnelly said: “It is really positive for us, and we are delighted.
“We feel supported by the college, and we are hoping to do more with them in the future.
“Dominic is our first apprentice, and he has been here for about six months. He was the ideal candidate, and will start his apprenticeship in September.”
Dominic will be undertaking a mechanical engineering course, and Helen explained that putting him through external training was part of a new outward-facing direction for the company.
She said: “As a business, we have been quite insular in the past, but have always been committed to training and development.
“We are not reinventing the wheel here, but we are starting to look more outward, in terms of our training.”
The firm has dealt with Northbrook College several times in the past 10 years, with a handful of its employees completing various courses.
Taking on an apprentice was something Helen had considered for a number of years, but felt she could not devote the time into doing fully.
But now, with the addition of new operations director Geoff Kemp, who had a strong training background, she felt now was the right time to take the plunge and recruit an apprentice.
She said: “Geoff joined us, and he has a strong background in training.
“At one of his previous companies, around 100 apprentices were employed.
“When we started talking to Northbrook, they were also very supportive, and we believe Dominic will be the first of many.”
Although the campaign has achieved its aims, Northbrook still wants to continue to recruit apprentices.
Northbrook principal Sue Dare said: “It is great and so pleasing to see so many local employers taking on apprentices, many of these for the first time.
“We encourage more employers and young people to join Northbrook’s very successful apprenticeship scheme.”
To find out more about pledging an apprentice place, or signing up as an apprentice, contact apprenticeship manager Brenda Cook, by emailing B.Cook@nbcol.ac.uk, or by phoning 01903 273375.