Recycling creating jobs for apprentices
RECYCLING has given dozens of unemployed young people a fresh start in the jobs market.
The environmental charity, Groundwork South West, which runs Weston Mill Civic Amenity recycling centre, has run two successful apprenticeship schemes.
APPRENTICES: Pictured, from left, are PCC supervisor Steve Mahony, Cllr Mike Leaves, Groundwork supervisor Nigel Stockdale, apprentice Adam Smith and assistant supervisor Colin Beal
Now Plymouth City Council has extended Groundwork South West’s contract for another year.
Running the centre has given Groundwork South West the opportunity to offer apprenticeships in waste management to teams of 15 previously unemployed young people.
The apprenticeship scheme lasts six months and Groundwork is now into its second scheme.
Led by Groundwork’s supervisors Nigel Stockdale and Lesley Boxall, the young people are learning the skills of waste management, health and safety, customer service and the importance of teamwork.
Colin Beal, aged 23, applied for the position of assistant supervisor following his apprenticeship at Weston Mill. He was successful and now works permanently for Groundwork South West at the recycling centre.
Colin said: “I absolutely love it here. I have made really good friends and enjoy working with everyone.
“I have recently become a dad and so have more responsibilities. This job, as assistant supervisor, has given me more confidence.”
Adam Smith, aged 19, who is on the apprenticeship scheme, said: “I really messed about at school and wasted my time there. I wasn’t at all focused. This opportunity with Groundwork is the best thing I have done.
“I was determined to get an apprenticeship and I think wearing a suit and looking smart at the interview made a difference.
“I am now getting training and working as part of a team. I love meeting the public and I am working hard to set an example to my children.”
Lesley Boxall, Groundwork supervisor, said: “All the young people get on really well and work very hard in all weathers.
“The public have been delighted with the service they get when they come here. We even broke a record for the most cars through the gate in January when we exceeded 800 cars in one day.”
The apprentices have helped to improve the site’s cleanliness, customer service and overall efficiency.
Cllr Mike Leaves, the city’s Cabinet member for community services, said: “These young people have got stuck into the job with plenty of enthusiasm and drive. Praise for their helpful and courteous manner keeps coming in and the work of the apprentices has improved the site’s performance.”
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