A YOUNG trainee chef’s dreams of joining the RAF have taken off following an apprenticeship scheme in Weston.
Joshua Cook (18) had left school with no qualifications when he was taken on at the Deer’s Leap pub five months ago.
Manager Jake Smith said: “Joshua started here in trackie bottoms and now turns up for work in a pressed white shirt.
“He has come on leaps and bounds since he joined us and takes pride in his work and his appearance. It’s so nice to see the change.”
The former student at Sir John Gleed School Boys’ Campus said he would probably have still been filling out job applications at Nacro training services if he hadn’t been given the opportunity.
Joshua, of Roman Bank, Spalding, said: “I didn’t really have any qualifications when I left school, but this has completely changed my future.
“I love learning new recipes and this is what I want to do. I’d like to join the RAF as a chef.”
This success story is one of the reasons other businesses in the area are being urged to take on apprentices.
Finding a job continues to be a challenge, with latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showing a rise in unemployment in South Holland by 0.2 per cent to 1,933, after falling by 11 last month.
Iain Judd, of the Priory Trust in Lincoln, places apprentices around the county and says businesses can do a lot to improve figures.
He said: “Apprenticeships are not just for the 16 to 24-year-olds – they are open to all ages.
“I have thousands of pounds of funding to help businesses take on an apprentice and, hopefully, offer a full-time job at the end.”
Anyone interested in taking on an apprentice can call Iain on 07961 959224.