TWO Wearsiders who were pioneering apprentices at the Foundation of Light have been rewarded with full-time posititions.
Lee Smith and Liam Grimes, both from Monkwearmouth, Sunderland, began volunteering at SAFC’s official charity after leaving school, as a way to gain experience and enhance their CV.
Their dedication has been highlighted as part of National Apprenticeship Week, which ends today, after they inspired the foundation to establish a formal apprenticeship scheme.
That scheme has, which has now created full-time roles for Lee, 19, Liam, 18, and eight others.
Lee said: “I absolutely love my apprenticeship and am grateful to the Foundation of Light for making it possible.
“I want to put everything I’m learning here to good use and hope to become a teaching assistant in the future.”
The Foundation of Light’s apprenticeship scheme offers apprenticeships in Business and Administration and Learning and Development, working at the charity’s head office and at various outreach centres across the North East.
Lee and Liam are both enrolled on the Business and Administration programme and are currently based at the Stadium of Light supporting the charity’s employability schemes, which help young and unemployed people across the North East to find work.
The Foundation of Light, which currently employs 169 full- and part-time staff, offers a wide range of sport and education based programmes, which benefit more than 42,000 people across the North East every year.
Its apprenticeship scheme, which is run in partnership with Peterlee-based Profound Services, will be reviewed at the end of the pilot period in July, with a view to recruiting a new crop of apprentices in the autumn.
Gemma Lavery, head of workforce development at the Foundation of Light, said: “Lee and Liam were amazing volunteers and it’s been great to be able to offer them formal, on-the-job training through the apprenticeship scheme.
“All 10 candidates enrolled on the pilot programme are doing extremely well and we hope to be able to continue the programme with Profound Services into 2015 and beyond.
“Here, at the Foundation of Light, we aim to give people access to opportunities that can change their lives and the apprenticeship scheme is doing just that for Lee and Liam.”
Stuart Johnson, of Profound Services, said: “We’re very proud to support the Foundation of Light’s apprenticeships.
“They’re an organisation that we’ve worked with for many years and their professional approach to providing life-changing learning experiences matches perfectly with what Profound Services are all about.”
l For more information about the Foundation of Light and its apprenticeship scheme, visit www.foundationoflight.co.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0191 5515311.