The Duke of York has given his backing to a regional daily’s campaign to get more young people into apprenticeships.
Prince Andrew revealed his support for the Shropshire Star’s Ladder for Shropshire campaign during a visit to the newspaper’s Telford offices.
The scheme aims to bring together companies in Shropshire who are looking to introduce new blood to their workforces with young people who are hungry to start on a new career and the training providers who can ensure they have all the expertise they require.
In an exclusive interview with the Star, he said it would create a “win-win situation” for both businesses and young people in the county.
The Prince added: “Apprentice is a term, it is about training and young people – and it makes no difference when they come out of full-time education, 16, 18, 23 or whatever it is, they are still going to need to be trained in what they choose to do and this is equally valid for a rural community such as Shropshire as it is for an urbanised or industrial community as in Telford.
“I think that so long as Ladder for Shropshire is tailored to local needs and local business requirements you are going to have a win-win situation for both the businesses and the young people.”
The campaign was launched in the Star last week and has its own dedicated website.
The Duke added: “There is of course going to be that moment when having taken the decision to have an apprentice, you have then got to expend the time and the training and the effort but once you have achieved that then the return you are getting is that small business will then be able to concentrate on other things, therefore it means it can grow and so that is where an apprentice really makes a difference.
“It is literally about bringing somebody in and training them.”
Shropshire Star editor Martin Wright said: “We were absolutely delighted to welcome the Duke of York to the Shropshire Star on Monday. Having Prince Andrew visit was a real honour and it was a very proud day for the newspaper.
“Prince Andrew’s support for our Ladder for Shropshire campaign is a great endorsement of what we are trying to do in the county.
“The Ladder will create more opportunities for young people by putting them in touch with businesses who are supporting apprenticeships.
“Prince Andrew’s visit, as you would expect, has generated a great deal of interest in the campaign, and I am delighted to say it has prompted a sharp rise in the number of enquiries from young people and businesses about how to join the Ladder initiative.”