A businesswoman from Brackley who was a finalist in the latest series of The Apprentice has appeared in a new video encouraging firms to give more young people a step up into employment.
The video, produced by Buckinghamshire County Council (BCC), aims to encourage more businesses to invest in young people as part of their future planning.
In an Apprentice-style interview, former contestant Katie Wright talks to council leader Martin Tett about the role of modern apprenticeships in tackling youth unemployment.
The council has more than 30 apprentices, and hopes to recruit more in coming months.
Mr Tett said: “It’s great news that the take-up of new apprenticeships topped the half-million mark nationally last year compared with just 175,000 in 2005/06.
“But, we need to encourage more, particularly for those in the 16 to 19 age group.
“My simple message to young people and businesses alike is to seriously consider the opportunities that apprenticeships can offer.”
Ms Wright lived in Leighton Buzzard before moving to Brackley.
The former Magdalen College School pupil, who was selected from among 40,000 applicants, is a business development director at public service specialists Liberata.
She said: “I know how tough it is for young people today looking to take their first career steps.
“Appearing in The Apprentice series was a great experience for me but, believe me, in the real world modern apprenticeships are a much better way of hearing the words ‘You’re Hired’.”
She added: “Apprenticeships provide opportunities to learn new skills, experience the world of work and earn at the same time.
“They are a great launch pad for young people and I wholeheartedly support them.”
To see the video, follow the link www.buckscc.gov.uk/bcc/jobs/apprenticeships.page?. For more information, contact BCC on 01296 383484.