Apprentice scheme hopes to solve Northamptonshire’s footwear and logistics skills shortages

Rowenna, who features in the campaign
Rowenna, who features in the campaign

Seven out of 10 businesses in Northamptonshire’s key industries have taken on an apprentice, yet footwear and logistics bosses are keen to take on even more.

Recent research by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP) of high performance technologies, food & drink, and logistics showed 70 per cent have given a job on an apprenticeship basis.

I feel that I am further ahead than people enetring the workplace in the usual way

Rowenna, 18, an apprentice customer services advisor at Opus Energy

And a total of 93 per cent said they would consider employing an apprentice.

Kate Dent of NEP said: “These results indicate a really positive outlook for young people in Northamptonshire, a future workforce who are ready and willing to work.

“Our initial research findings are a baseline for monitoring changing attitudes over time.”

The survey was carried out as part of the Bright Futures campaign, highlighting opportunities in businesses large and small in Northamptonshire’s key sectors.

It aims to help young people shape their future career by providing the information they need about Northamptonshire’s economy and the types of jobs available locally.

This will help them to make really well-informed decisions about the options available to them.

Jo Lappin, chief executive of NEP, said: “Northamptonshire has a wealth of opportunities with an excellent range of employment, training and apprenticeships on offer from a broad range of companies, including some of our major employers.

“The campaign is heavily focused on Northamptonshire’s specific skills needs, including those in the footwear and logistics sectors, where too few shoe-makers and drivers are leading to skills shortages, locally.

We will be looking to promote our talented young people to businesses and at the same time promoting our businesses to our young people, as we really do have a fantastic business base.

“Linking the right young people to the right employment opportunities will really help our economy to grow further, faster.”

Bright Futures will run throughout 2015. Visit:

Rowenna, aged 18, from Northampton, works at Opus Energy as an apprentice customer services advisor, after hearing about the scheme from Northampton College.

Entering a workplace as an apprentice rather than the ‘normal’ way, she said, is a lot more beneficial.

She said: “As an apprentice you are able to gain a qualification which you desire, to earn a living and to get experience in the industry you want to continue with.

I feel that I am further ahead as I am near to completing my apprenticeship which provides we with a qualification. Once I have finished completing my NVQ, I will still have a position to work at Opus Energy.”