Published: August 23, 2013
Burnham-On-Sea businesses encouraged to support young people

As young people across the Bunham-On-Sea area weigh up their options having received their GCSE and A-Level results this week, Somerset's Chamber of Commerce has stressed the importance to local businesses of supporting local youngsters in order to keep their valuable skills in the county.

According to the Chamber, local businesses should not underestimate the value of the skills, enthusiasm and fresh outlook that young people can bring, all of which will help boost the local economy both in the short and the longer term.

Engineering company Manuflex Limited, based in Highbridge, has supported, encouraged and employed around 50 young people through apprenticeships, work experience and government sponsored schemes.

Its Managing Director Ray Stewart said: "In our experience, engaging with young people is great for business. They bring fresh ideas, are enthusiastic, have current education disciplines and ask great questions. All of this adds value to the business as customers are encouraged to see that a business has a long term plan involving a wide range of ages."

"As with any activity, you only get out what you put in and time spent interviewing and meeting with young candidates and taking time to select the right one for your business is vital. In our experience, young people are great for business."

Somerset's Chamber of Commerce also works closely with the Somerset Employment & Skills Board, which brings businesses and partner organisations together to help businesses access high-quality training through apprenticeships for graduates and existing employees.

Chairman of the Somerset Employment & Skills Board, Kath Gigg, said: "Many employers we talk to get involved with their local school or college and build a really productive relationship that helps prepare youngsters for the world of work and also helps the business get the employees they need and want."

"Apprenticeships are now available in more than 170 industries and 1,500 job roles, and around 80% of managers who employ apprentices agree that they make their workplace more productive."

Somerset Chamber of Commerce, backed by Burnham-On-Sea Chamber of Trade, represents and works collaboratively with the Somerset business community to encourage strong, sustainable and creative alliances that promote members’ businesses, raise the profile of the county, and help to lobby for greater influence for Somerset at all levels of government.

Somerset businesses employed over 5,200 apprentices in 2011/12, with more than the national average successfully completing their apprenticeship.


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