Apprentice Cara bucks the trend

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UNEMPLOYMENT figures which were released on Wednesday show that 695 18 to 24-year-olds in South Kesteven are on Jobseekers allowance.

These young people are just a small proportion of the 1.02 million in their age group who are currently unemployed.

But one Grantham teenager who struggled for months to find a job is now breaking away from the statistics by becoming a successful apprentice.

Cara Stubbs, 19, now works at Hills Poly-Print, in Alma Park Road, four days a week and does one day training at Grantham College.

She said: “I think it works really well. I didn’t get many qualifications at school so I wanted to do a work placement to get experience and show people I can do it.”

Karen Frisby, who is managing director of the carrier bag manufacturing company, was approached by the job centre to see if she would take anyone on for work experience.

Karen was not recruiting at the time but she agreed.

She said: “Three weeks into her work experience I thought she was really good. She’s got a fantastic attitude and good computer skills. I decided that when the eight weeks finished I didn’t want to let her go.”

Cara signed up for a year-long apprenticeship and after that Karen plans to take her on full-time. Karen was so impressed by what Cara offered that she is also looking to take on another apprentice to work in the factory.

She said: “We realised that the work that Cara did has freed me up to do other important things that perhaps I have neglected.

“I would absolutely recommend having an apprentice to other employers. I think to work for eight weeks without pay they have got to be dedicated.”

The Department of Work and Pensions announced the apprenticeship scheme earlier this year. People between 18 and 21 are matched by Jobcentre Plus with employers looking for people to do work experience.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said: “Our work experience scheme will give young people the chance to get valuable experience in a business for up to two months, which will make a real difference to their confidence, their employability and their prospects.”

In South Kesteven 2,095 people are claiming Jobseekers allowance.