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Business Owner Calls On Others to Take On Apprentices in National Apprenticeship Week

Posted on Friday 17th December 2021
Connect Midlands Ltd

Stuart Dawson and apprentice Mitch Chadwick

An established electrical contracting business in Rugeley is calling on other businesses to take on an apprentice and get the funding on offer to help.

Connect Midlands Ltd received a £5,000 grant from the Staffordshire Means Back to Business initiative which brings together funding from the county council and borough and district councils in the county.

Owner Stuart Dawson, who started as an apprentice himself 35 years ago, used the grant to kit-out and support the wages of 18-year-old Mitch Chadwick.

He said:

“It’s all about Mitch’s attitude.

"I started as an apprentice 35 years ago myself but I wasn’t in a position to take him on a couple of years ago when I wanted to, but now Mitch has been with us a year and is up for anything and gets stuck in. 

“He’s a great asset to the company and personally, I feel it’s great to shape the next generation of electricians. 

"Businesses shouldn’t be nervous about the commitment with taking on an apprentice– it is absolutely worth it and now’s the time to get a grant to help.”

Mitch, from Rugeley, studies one day a week at Stafford College to become a fully qualified electrician, working and learning with Stuart the rest of the week.

Mitch said:

“It’s a great job and I’m sticking where I am after training.

"I even asked if I could work for free so that Stuart could take me on – but I’m paid a fair wage while I’m learning as well.”

Mitch is one of the apprentices working in small businesses across Staffordshire that have so far been supported by a Staffordshire Means Back to Business apprenticeship grant. 

Philip White, deputy leader and Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills at Staffordshire County Council said:

“Apprentices bring great ideas and energy to the businesses and there’s never been a better time to take on an apprentice right now, with the grant funding available. 

"It’s a great way to grow the skills you need whilst being supported financially.”

Councillor Olivia Lyons, Leader of Cannock Chase District Council said:

“Helping small businesses to recover and grow from the pandemic is a key priority, so joining with the county council in the Staffordshire Means Back to Business initiative means we can help more businesses than ever before.

"Mitch is a great example of the fantastic local apprentices that we have in Staffordshire and how critical they are to small businesses.”

Grants and loans for growth, training and supporting apprentices are available to small businesses right across Staffordshire.

More information is available at https://bit.ly/StaffsMeansBackToBusiness with up to £5,000 to support apprentices available via https://bit.ly/AnApprenticeForLess.

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Contact the newsroom

These contact details are for journalists and members of the media only:

Email: pressoffice@staffordshire.gov.uk
Call: 01785 895050

If you are not a journalist or member of the media and have a general enquiry please:

Email: contactus@staffordshire.gov.uk
Call: 0300 111 8000

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