Mr Jones, who is the Apprenticeship Ambassador in Parliament, visited to hear firsthand how apprentices were a great benefit for the company and how the apprentices – many of whom have become full-time employees at the company – benefited from their in-work training.
Andrew also met Managing Director, Lee Evans. Mr Evans, a Harrogate man, started the business in 2006 and was determined to offer young people opportunities to grow with his new business. The company soon came to the notice of the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) which named it as one of the top ten apprentice employers in the country.
Since 2006 the company has grown to employ 15 full-timers and has taken on 9 apprentices most of whom obtained full-time positions with the company at the end of their apprenticeships.
Andrew met four members of staff with Mr Evans – two of whom were current apprentices and two who had joined the team at the end of their apprenticeships.
Andrew commented: The number of people retaining full-time posts with the company in which they served an apprenticeship is growing. Vital is a great local example of where that is happening. It was great to meet Managing Director, Lee Evans, who has demonstrated an impressive commitment to bringing young people into his relatively new business and giving them the skills they need to gain full-time roles in an exciting career.
Lee Evans added: It was great of Andrew to visit and see first-hand how successful our apprenticeship programme has been – helping both the business to bring in and develop great new talent and the apprentices themselves in taking a significant first step towards an exciting and rewarding career.
Apprenticeships can be easily overlooked as a route in to an exciting, rewarding and fast moving career in white-collar industries such as ours. The industry specific qualifications and experience gained during the apprenticeship programme are second to none and really prepare the apprentice graduates for the real world jobs available in this rapidly changing industry.
Main photograph: Developing new talent at Vital Network Solutions; Andrew Jones (centre) with (L-R) former apprentices Adam Willford and Alex Taylor and current apprentices Pedro Crosby and Thomas Hawkins-Mitchell.