Teenager relishing challenge of Sheffield work

Apprentice Jamie Broomhead at work at Catherines Choice with operations manager Paul Millen
Apprentice Jamie Broomhead at work at Catherines Choice with operations manager Paul Millen
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A TEENAGER who spent two years looking for work after leaving school was saved by a Sheffield Council scheme to give young people their first step on to the career ladder.

Jamie Broomhead, aged 18, was one of more than 1,000 young people in the city not in education, employment or training - known as a NEET.

With job prospects growing increasingly bleak, he was worried about his future.

But help was at hand for the Parsons Cross teen with Sheffield Council’s 100 Apprenticeships Scheme, launched last October, which pairs local businesses with young people and part-subsidises their wages for up to two years.

Jamie was able to pursue his dream of working in the catering businesses with Sheffield’s Catherine’s Choice, family-owned producer of jams, conserves and sauces which supplies to 80 companies across the UK.

Since being taken on six months ago, Jamie has been a welcome addition to the tiny team of two staff at Catherine’s Choice - getting hands on with all aspects of production while gaining skills in specialist food manufacturing.

For Jamie and boss Shaun Bromfield, Sheffield Council’s scheme has proved a saviour.

Shaun said: “We had always wanted to take an apprentice on but the council’s scheme was the only way it would be financially sustainable for us. It’s a win-win situation.

“We get support to grow our business and we’re also helping a young person.”

Jamie said: “I left school and I was looking for something to do but there was nothing. Everywhere I looked they said they were not taking on.

“When I spoke to Shaun about the business I took a massive interest. It’s been really good for me, I look forward to going into work every day.”

n The Star and council have joined forces for the Apprentice Challenge to get 100 more Sheffield NEETs into work. To sign up email at laura.hayfield@sheffield.gov.uk or call 0114 2296186.