THE Old Mill firm, in Melksham, joins a scheme that promotes apprentices to help give people more opportunities.

The apprenticeship ambassador network aims to raise awareness of how apprenticeship programmes meet the needs of employers as well as supporting businesses and individuals to achieve success.

Ian Carlson, managing director at the Old Mill said: “We work at the cutting edge of accounting and wealth management, across a wide range of sectors, with a broad client portfolio. Our clients are ambitious, energetic businesses and individuals, and the key to providing them with outstanding service is to recruit and retain fantastic people with the same energy and ambition. And this is where the apprenticeship programme helps us immensely.”

Up to a third of those employed in Old Mill are working towards a professional qualification at any one time, with apprentices making up a significant part of this number.

Ian continues: “Our trainees represent the future of Old Mill, which is why we are delighted to support the apprenticeship programme, and to be part of the Ambassador network.

Another part of SWAAN is the Young Apprentice Ambassador Network (YAAN) a community of current and graduate apprentices who are proud of their apprenticeship experience and want to inspire others

These young apprentice ambassadors promote apprenticeships to young people in the area by advocating the range of subjects, benefits, progression routes and extensive career opportunities they provide.

Ian continued: “We have a very successful apprenticeship programme at Old Mill, and will be looking to encourage our apprentices to become Young Apprentice Ambassadors, as we feel it is those that have been part of a successful scheme themselves who are best placed to demonstrate to others the benefits of apprenticeships in the region to businesses, individuals and the wider community.”

Old Mill will be organising events and initiatives and mentoring other employers in the area.

The SWAAN specifically aims to engage new businesses in the South West to commit to apprenticeships and inspire young people in the region to choose apprenticeships.

By becoming a part of SWAAN, Old Mill has become an apprentice ambassador, alongside 85 other well respected businesses and organisations, including Wiltshire and Devon County Councils.

SWAAN members come together to share good practice in apprenticeship delivery, to learn from each other and to develop new ideas for attracting, retaining and growing their individual apprenticeship programmes.

Membership is voluntary, but is a serious commitment, and will see Old Mill join ambassadors in supporting and influencing a wide range of key stakeholders including schools, colleges, local enterprise partnerships, new employers and their supply chains, trade associations and employment bodies.