A 16-year-old Donington girl says she feels lucky to have a job when some of her friends who left school in the summer are out of work.
Trainee hairdresser Paige Allgood is an apprentice at Vanity Fayre hair salon and is already shaping up for a bright future.
The former Thomas Cowley High School student said: “I feel lucky to have a job when I have friends out of work who are feeling really bad at still having to rely on their parents for support.
“There should be more apprenticeships available because learning on the job is a great way to start.”
Her boss, Nicky Burdall, only opened the salon in High Street last year and is delighted to be offering an apprenticeship.
She said: “I’d had time off with a young family and just at the time I was thinking I was ready to go back to work this shop came up.
“It’s been really busy since I opened and so I’m applying to the National Apprenticeship Service for a grant, which is helping me afford to take on another member of staff and my business grow.”
Paige’s story comes as the latest unemployment figures from the Office for National Statistics for September show there are nearly 274 less people claiming benefits in South Holland.
There were 1,229 residents claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance in the three months up to September, compared with 1,503 in the previous quarter.
The district remains the leader in the job market, with 2.3 per cent unemployed compared with the national average of 3.2 per cent.
John Hayes, MP for South Holland and the Deepings, said it was excellent news for the district.
He said: “Unemployment is very dispiriting and doesn’t help make a strong community.
“With an improving economy comes job opportunities which is excellent.”