The Express & Star, Wolverhampton, is celebrating the success of its Ladder for the Black Country and Ladder for Staffordshire campaign, as well as its Midland News Association sister daily the Shropshire Star’s Ladder for Shropshire campaign.
The Ladder for the Black Country was launched 18 months ago and has seen 780 apprenticeships created in the Black Country.
Its success saw it expanded with the creation of the Ladder for Staffordshire and the Ladder for Shropshire, each generating 193 apprenticeships – a grand total of 1,166 across the region.
More than 200 different companies have been involved in the scheme since its inception.
Prime Minister David Cameron has congratulated MNA on the success of the campaigns.
He said: “I’m delighted that the Ladder for the Black Country is proving so successful. It’s great news for more than 1,000 young people who have signed up and are looking forward to a bright future, and for the hundreds of businesses which are benefiting from fresh talent. The popularity of these schemes reflects the fantastic opportunities that apprenticeships afford.
“Apprenticeships are absolutely essential in providing the skills and training required for our young people to compete with the best the rest of the world has to offer.”
The Duke of York is patron of the campaign, and will host a special event to mark the achievement of the Ladder for the Black Country at St James’s Palace next week.
Express & Star Editor Keith Harrison said: “It is absolutely fantastic. Credit must go to the companies which have taken on young people and shown belief in them and their skills to give them life changing opportunities.”