Recognizing Staffordshire’s young apprentices

I had the great privilege and honour along with many other Staffordshire people of being recognised by Her Majesty in the Queen’s Birthday Honours last week.

I have been a Staffordshire County Councillor since 1987 and Leader since 2009 and have been serving on parish council and other local authority bodies since 1981, for which I was awarded an OBE for services to local government.

When people step forward to help their fellow neighbours, or try and improve life for their community, there’s no thought or expectation of moments like this – it’s a very humbling moment. And, as leader of the county council I would like to congratulate all those who were honoured for giving so much of their time and themselves to make Staffordshire a better place for their fellow residents.

I have spoken many times about how Apprenticeships are important for our young people and to the county and the local economy. They train young people in vital skills and help so many young people get into their first jobs, setting them on a successful career path.

Last year, in Staffordshire, over 8,000 people started an apprenticeship, which is double that of five years ago. Now, we want young people to be very proud of their achievements and that’s why the County Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership want to give them their own special day to mark the occasion.

This will be the second Apprenticeship Graduation Ceremony we’ve held and will give apprentices the chance to celebrate with their friends and family, thank their training providers and employers and officially graduate from their scheme on stage with full robes and regalia. The event is on Wednesday 13 July at the County Showground in Stafford so if you haven’t got your cap and gown booked then there’s still time. You can register at www.graduationceremony.co.uk.

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