The Apprentice: has Sir Alan Sugar met his match?

PUBLISHED: 16:22 04 February 2010 | UPDATED: 22:08 31 May 2010

The Apprentice: Sir Alan Sugar would be delighted with the progress made by apprentice Amanda Clarke

The Apprentice: Sir Alan Sugar would be delighted with the progress made by apprentice Amanda Clarke

A BUSINESSMAN from Saffron Walden is leading by example when it comes to hiring apprentices. During the government s National Apprenticeship Week, businesses have been encouraged to take on apprentices - an idea that local electrician Neil Mummery is more

A BUSINESSMAN from Saffron Walden is leading by example when it comes to hiring apprentices.

During the government's National Apprenticeship Week, businesses have been encouraged to take on apprentices - an idea that local electrician Neil Mummery is more than happy to promote.

Owner of NM Electrics, Neil was himself an apprentice when he started in the trade 21 years ago, and believes that apprenticeships are an excellent way to develop a skilled and dedicated workforce.

"Apprentices are good because you can mould their working practices and teach them to work exactly how you want them to," said Neil. "This gives your business and the quality of your work great continuity.

"We were getting busier and busier but given the current financial climate I couldn't afford to take on another fully qualified electrician, so I thought I'd take a step in the right direction and bring in a youngster to train up."

Amanda Clarke, 23, began her Apprenticeship with NM Electrics in 2005, after adapting her course at Cambridge Regional College to incorporate an NVQ in advanced electrical installation.

"I had already been studying at the college one day a week for a year while looking for work, when I got a job with Neil and switched to an apprenticeship" said Amanda.

"I chose an apprenticeship because it offered me more qualifications. I also really enjoyed the combination of work and learning."

Amanda completed her apprenticeship in July last year and now has all the qualifications she currently requires.

"It's good to have Amanda on board, especially as she is a young girl in a traditionally male dominated environment," said Neil. "If we were to decide to expand the business again in the future I would certainly consider another apprentice based on her success.

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