A YOUNG apprentice is looking forward to a bright future in marketing - thanks to a scheme to tackle youth unemployment in Sheffield.
Theo Swallow, 17, has secured a permanent job with Business Data Prospects after proving himself a model worker during a traineeship organised by city bosses.
Working in a cafe part-time from the age of 14, Theo was accustomed to hard graft but unsure of what career path he wanted to take.
After signing up for the programme, Theo was given pre-employment training and a mentor who helped match his skills with potential employers. When he was interviewed for a job with Business Data Prospects, which provides marketing for clients such as the University of Sheffield and National Trust, it was a match made in heaven.
Theo said: “I was at college for a bit but I wasn’t enjoying it. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do at first. I was going to Connexions to get help from them before I went on the apprentice scheme.
“It’s been brilliant. I love it. I’ve worked on a lot of campaigns for them and my confidence has grown.”
The teenager is among the first of the 100 unemployed young people who Sheffield Council helped onto the career ladder as part of its ongoing apprentice scheme.
The initiative launched in 2011 to boost prospects for the 1,393 so-called NEETs - teenagers not in education, training or employment - in the city.
Last year, the council joined forces with The Star to help bring the total to 200.
Sheffield Council part-subsidised Theo’s apprentice wage for 12 months and provided follow-up support for him and his new employer.
Jane Snee, owner of Business Data Prospects, said: “We’re a small business so the council’s scheme means that we were able to take on an apprentice. Theo fitted the bill, he has learned a lot over the past 12 months.”