training scheme helpS youngsters into work

Johnston Press sales apprenticeship recruits at AOS' base at Bramall Lane.
Johnston Press sales apprenticeship recruits at AOS' base at Bramall Lane.
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Johnston Press, whose titles include The Star in Sheffield and Yorkshire Post in Leeds, is backing a new training initiative for out-of-work youngsters.

Twenty unemployed people aged between 17 and 24 have been selected to go on the inaugural sales apprenticeship course at The Star’s headquarters which is designed to help some of the most disadvantaged young people in the country develop the skills and confidence needed to enter the world of sales.

Johnston Press, which owns more than 200 newspaper titles and 215 local and e-commerce websites, has taken the youngsters under its wing by offering a two-day-a-week placement at their Media Sales Centre in Sheffield.

This month they are joining the company full-time as part of their ongoing training. Johnston Press is working with the Academy of Sales (AOS) on this new initiative, which is being run by a team of sales trainers and sales performance experts.

Jobseekers from across the city, some with a poor education, are receiving sales and customer service training at the AOS base at Sheffield Utd FC. They are guaranteed a job at the end which could turn their lives around.

Bridging education with enterprise and a need for professional sales training, AOS runs sales essentials and employability skills courses for 16- and 17-year-olds in schools – which provides sixth-formers with an insight into sales as a career – and sales apprenticeships courses for jobseekers aged between 17 and 24 which guarantee work for all successful trainees.

Josh Campbell, managing director at AOS said: “There have been few vocational pathways under recent governments as the focus has been on getting young people to university. However, with the changed economic climate and reduced labour market, it is ever more important to help young people get into work.

“Sales is a great career and provides a set of life skills, yet there is a lack of awareness of it as a professional career choice and few people are formally introduced to it.

“UK business urgently requires more professional, dedicated salespeople to take our products and services to the world. With one in five young people unemployed in the UK it is a growing social, economic and moral problem which comes at a cost to society and the individual. 

Early unemployment can create a legacy of health and social problems which is evident in many of our big cities. However, the sales apprenticeship course is proving, irrespective of education and background, there is a wealth of talent out there that deserves a chance.”

For information and details go to or contact Melanie Faldo at or 07956 657227.