A web company is one of those to crack the code to business development thanks to a successful policy of hiring apprentices.
Benjamin Watson, 17, has joined the growing team at Redcar-based Tad Web Solutions.
The company, launched three years ago by managing director Ian Elcoate, is one of more than 250 businesses receiving free help and support from the Enterprise Team, part of Redcar and Cleveland Council.
The Enterprise Team put the company in touch with the council’s Routes to Employment team who helped with recruitment.
The experience has now led to Mr Elcoate to urge other small companies to consider taking on more apprentices.
He said: “Apprentices are great for small businesses like ours.
“We were able to get funding and support with wages, which is cost-effective, and we can train the staff to work the way that works best for us and them.
“It’s an ideal way to give young people a career start and it’s great to see them develop their skills, and in turn help the business grow.”
Benjamin, from Redcar, is employed as an apprentice web designer and is already making an impact, bringing his own style to graphics, animation and imagery on a variety of client projects.
He’s the second apprentice to join the company – small business manager Peter Calvert joined the company as an apprentice in 2013.
Councillor Mark Hannon, Redcar and Cleveland Council cabinet member for economic development, said: “It’s great to see businesses take on apprentices and help train and nurture people in their chosen career.
“I’m delighted to see Tad Web Solutions creating opportunities and going from strength to strength thanks to the support of the Enterprise Team.”
The team offers Redcar and Cleveland businesses at least 12 hours of free tailored support.
Made up of skilled business coaches, the team is focused on helping companies across the borough to achieve their goals, including moving premises, increasing their turnover and improving profitability.
In addition to supporting businesses the Enterprise Team has also held scores of free pre-start workshops, enabling hundreds of residents to realise their dream of running their own business or exploring the possibility of self-employment.
Find out more about the Enterprise Team at www.theenterpriseteam.co.uk
Financial help is available for companies keen to recruit someone aged 16 to 24. Small and medium-size businesses can get grants of £1,500 for each apprentice they take on thanks to the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE).