Apprentice scheme celebrates success

A council-run apprentice scheme has been celebrating another local success.

East Cambridgeshire District Council’s initiative helped introduce Daniel Blocksage to Cheveley-based Cobham Antenna Systems.

He was 16 when he started his intermediate apprenticeship in September last year.

The company is part of a global network of Cobham companies which designs, develops and manufactures niche and high quality microwave antennas for use in commercial, security and defence markets.

Tina Turkentine, the company’s human resources manager said: “As a company, we have always acknowledged the importance of work experience for young people to help them gain an understanding of the working world and support their studies. We have worked with local secondary schools and further education colleges for many years.

“The Cobham apprenticeship scheme goes further still as we recognised there are certain skill challenges within engineering and wanted to give young people an opportunity to acquire skills, knowledge and valuable on-the-job training to reflect this.”

Cheveley ward councillor Tom Kerby, lead councillor on economic development for the Ely-based authority, said: “It is great to meet another highly motivated apprenticeship who is benefiting from the East Cambridgeshire Apprenticeship Scheme.

“We all know it is vital to help our young people to find the careers which suit their skills. This is why it is more important than ever that schools and colleges work closely with our local businesses to identify those who would benefit from becoming an apprentice. “This is something we aim to continue to develop in the months and years ahead.”

Cobham has also taken on two other apprentices as part of its own apprenticeship scheme including former Soham Village College student, Adam Nicholson, at Advanced Level.

The East Cambridgeshire scheme helps to support local businesses and provide opportunities for young people by topping up the national AGE grant of £1,500 by up to an additional £2,000 if the business takes on a young person from within the district as an apprentice.

It aims to help eight to ten new apprentices to find work in its first year and forms part of the district council’s wider work to help support links between employers and secondary schools for the benefit of the district’s young people.

Businesses wishing to access the scheme should call 01353 665555 and ask to speak to 
the Economic Development team.