The Black Country Chamber of Commerce have given the thumbs up to the Apprenticeship scheme after their first Apprentice was offered a full time job.
The chamber, which represents more than 1,500 businesses across the region, recruited their first Apprentice, Adam Stout, last year through City of Wolverhampton College.
Adam, who was taken on as the chamber’s Training, Website and Policy Coordinator, so impressed his employer that once he had completed his Apprenticeship he was offered a full time job.
Lisa Nicholson, Head of Membership and Customer Services, said: “When the decision was made to bring a project in-house, it seemed ideal for an Apprentice to cover this project alongside learning some new skills, saving the Black Country Chamber of Commerce around £8,000 in the first 12 months.
“Adam initially came to us on a Future Jobs Fund placement and as we liked his attitude and positivity we decided we wanted to keep him on – and the Apprenticeship scheme seemed the best option.
When Phoenix Cutting Services set up in March 2010 they were assisted with business start up advice from Black Country Enterprise, followed up with support in business planning for development and growth at the Business Solutions Centre. Wolverhampton Business Solutions Centre also provided information on how to apply for a Business Solutions Voucher and Wolverhampton City Council’s Business Grant and High Growth Grant, which the company applied for and
received. Through WBSC they were signposted to the Centre for Engineering Excellence which they have been working in collaboration with to source new laser machinery.
Phoenix Cutting Services were also delighted to receive help from the University of Wolverhampton with their company branding. Scott Hilton, Director of Phoenix Cutting Services said
“For a new company, starting up in business can be difficult as there are a number of organisations that need to be contacted. Wolverhampton Business Solutions Centre made it so much easier as we were able to access grants and receive the information, help and advice we needed from one source.”
The Green Roof Tile Company, based in Telford, produces an innovative roof tile made from recycled polymer.
From the early days following origination of the idea through to the present they have worked closely with the University of Wolverhampton’s Caparo Innovation Centre, tapping into their knowledge and expertise.
Trevor Wakefield, a roofer of 35 years’ experience, had his ‘eureka’ moment whilst watching a television programme about the impact of discarded plastic on the world’s oceans. His idea was to reduce the amount of plastic waste diverted to landfill by incorporating it into roof tiles.
Trevor conceptualised an interlocking polymer roof tile that was both lightweight and durable before approaching the University of Wolverhampton to help him transform his idea into reality.