‘This is the perfect way to earn while you learn’
A SHERWOOD insurance brokers has given its backing to the Post’s latest apprenticeship campaign.
Firth and Scott Ltd in Mansfield Road is training two apprentices to achieve their insurance qualifications.
Backing our campaign: From left, Stevie Ridgley, Hannah Williams and Sam Scothern at Firth and Scott.
The company says it is “fully behind” the Get Notts Working campaign.
The first phase of the campaign aims to see 100 new apprenticeships pledged in 100 days.
The company, which has been based in Sherwood since 1972, takes on one new apprentice every year.
It was the first brokers in the city to be awarded chartered status in February 2011.
Stevie Ridgley, 24, of Woodthorpe, is doing an apprenticeship at the firm.
She said: “I left Bilborough College in 2006 with a good set of A-levels and everyone thought I would go on to university but I ended up working, first for Eon and then for a lingerie company, which sadly went into administration.
“So I then decided to go to university in Brighton, but it just wasn’t for me.
“It was a hard decision to leave uni, but in hindsight one of the best I have made.
“Nowadays everyone is expected to go to university but I think the tides are changing.”
She added: “The opportunity arose to take up the apprenticeship at Firth and Scott and I was very keen on the idea of combining working with education, because its the perfect way to earn while you learn.”
Stevie said her apprenticeship involved learning from experienced employees at the company as well as doing her insurance exams.
She said: “I think apprenticeships are a great idea because you aren’t saddled with huge debts from university but you are still learning.”
Hannah Williams, 20, of Wollaton, is also doing an apprenticeship at the firm.
She said: “I did my A Levels at college but after that when all my friends were going to on to further education I wasn’t sure what to do.
“I started applying for admin jobs, but a lot of them said I needed experience first.
“So I went to Babington Business College, which is now based in Derby, and they put me on to Firth and Scott.
“I took up the apprenticeship because it is so structured and they give you lots of time to learn as well as work.
“I really enjoy my apprenticeship and I would recommend a similar path to other people who don’t think uni is for them.”
Samantha Scothern, 24, of Hucknall, completed her apprenticeship at the firm when she was 17.
She said she really enjoyed the experience and was very proud to be the youngest person in the country at the time to gain her certificate in insurance.
Sam said: “I have now worked my way through the company and I really enjoy my job.
“I think when you finish at university you are left with this big debt and some people can’t find any work.
“But with an apprenticeship you don’t have that worry and you can work your way up to the area you want to be in.”
Steve Allwright, director of Firth and Scott, said apprentices were a very important part of the company.
He said: “Our first apprentice is now the managing director of the company and he is fully behind us taking on youngsters.
“We look for people who have a spark and are intelligent, but don’t necessarily have lots of experience, because we can offer that to them.
“We try to take on a new apprentice roughly every 14 months – and as a small firm that is a big commitment.
“We all love being involved with the training and it is something we are proud of.”
The Post launched its Get Notts Working campaign on Wednesday.
It is a partnership between the Post, Notts and Derbyshire Chamber of Commerce, the National Apprenticeship Service, Nottinghamshire City and County Employment and Skills Board, local councils as well as major local companies.
We will also promote work experience, asking firms to take on unemployed people for a short period.
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