HALESOWEN and Rowley Regis MP James Morris marked National Apprenticeship Week by recruiting an apprentice to work in his constituency office.
Paige Mills, aged 19, beat 45 other applicants to land the position, which was advertised through the National Apprenticeship Service.
Miss Mills has now started in the MP’s office, where she will receive on-the-job training whilst being paid as a member of staff before studying one day a week for a Level 3 NVQ in Business Administration at Halesowen College.
The Rowley teenager has lived in the area all of her life and attended Ormiston Forge Academy, Old Hill.
Miss Mills said: “I am really excited to have this opportunity and have enjoyed my first few days in the office, learning the ropes.
“I’m looking forward to starting my course in the autumn. The apprenticeship gives me a chance to earn while I learn and I know that the skills that I pick up will be useful as I begin my career.”
James Morris urged more local employers to look at how an apprentice could help their business.
He said: “Historically the Black Country has suffered from a skills gap, which has held the region’s economy back, stopped businesses from developing and prevented local young people from reaching their potential.”
He added: “Increasing the number and quality of apprenticeships on offer – whether in manufacturing, retail, services or clerical roles – is an important part of the Government’s strategy to tackle this problem and boost our economy.
“By taking on an apprentice myself I’m not just doing my bit to support local skills and training – Paige will help me provide a better service for constituents.”