Pupils at King’s Ely are tasting the difference as a result of the East Cambridgeshire apprenticeship scheme.

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The scheme, which helps local businesses recruit new apprentices and give young people the chance to find employment in the district, brought 18-year-old Alice Kingham to the school as a trainee chef.

Alice, a former pupil at Ely College, says she can’t believe she is doing a job she really loves under the guidance of head chef Tony McInally.

The teenager said: “It is great to have the opportunity to work in a professional kitchen. There is so much variation involved in preparing good food.

“I also find it more rewarding working in an active kitchen and learning all the time. It is really testing the skills I learned at Cambridge Regional College. Tony and the team in the kitchen are very supportive and are there to help at any time.”

Councillor Tom Kerby, who leads on economic development at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “It was a great pleasure to meet Alice to witness her sheer enthusiasm and passion for her apprenticeship. It was a delight to see the difference the East Cambridgeshire apprenticeship scheme is making for young people and local business.

“We have already helped support five new local apprenticeships and we hope for more as we work to develop a well skilled and dynamic workforce to help East Cambridgeshire to reach its potential.”

Shirley Jolly, catering manager at King’s Ely, said: “We are very pleased to have an apprentice chef at the school again. We have had an apprentice in the past and we found that both the school and the apprentice benefit enormously from being involved with the scheme.”

The East Cambridgeshire apprenticeship scheme helps to support local businesses and provide opportunities for young people by topping up the national AGE grant of £1,500 by up to an additional £2,000, if the business takes on a young apprentice from within the district.

Businesses wishing to access the scheme should call 01353 665555 and ask to speak to the council’s economic development team.

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