LEP support enables new career start


A hospital healthcare assistant has won a chance to beat the winter blues and change his career direction, thanks to the LEP.

Stephen Leach, from Cleckheaton, has set his sights on getting into the financial services industry after winning Capital FM’s Beat Blue Monday competition sponsored by the LEP’s Apprenticeship Programme.

The competition helps listeners to jump into spring with renewed enthusiasm and a fresh career start. It ran on Blue Monday, January 26, said to be the most depressing day of the year.

Stephen has won a careers information, advice and guidance session via the LEP to make his 2015 dream career come true, a MacBook Air, £250 for a new wardrobe and a makeover from Toni and Guy. He has recently collected his prizes from Capital FM at Breakfast presenters Adam, Danny and JoJo.

Stephen said: “I am thrilled to have won this competition. This is a chance for me to change my future. I have not reached my potential, and felt stuck in a succession of unskilled jobs since leaving school years-ago.”

He added: “I’ve always been interested in finance and my goal is to get into the financial services industry. The one thing that’s always stopped me from moving on is a lack of self-confidence. I know there’s no magic wand and it’s down to me to make the changes that I want. I’m hoping the careers advice will inspire me to succeed.”

Stephen has been referred by the LEP to C&K Careers in Dewsbury, part of the National Careers Service. Qualified advisors will provide careers information, advice and guidance and help Stephen to review his goals and skills, and develop a careers action plan.

Stephanie Burras, Chair of the LEP’s Employment and Skills Panel, said: “I am delighted that LEP support is helping people like Stephen take steps to embark on a new career. Financial and business services is a key employment sector in the Leeds City Region and I’m thrilled that the LEP has enabled Stephen to explore opportunities in this sector. The LEP’s Apprenticeship Programme has now supported over 1,000 young people to take the first steps towards starting their career and I am encouraged that people of all ages in the City Region continue to benefit from LEP support.”

Councillor Shabir Pandor, Kirklees Council Cabinet Member, said: “I would like to offer my congratulations to Stephen. By entering this competition he has taken the first steps to changing his life for the better. Making a big career change is a daunting prospect, especially when you take into account all the things you need to consider to make it possible.”

He added: "We work closely with C&K careers and JCP to ensure that local people of any age are able to access the advice they need, and are supported to make an informed decision about their options for the future. Kirklees Apprenticeship Hub, in partnership with the LEP, is committed to working with local businesses to make sure there are opportunities available in a wide range of careers.”

The competition was sponsored by the LEP’s Apprenticeship Programme, which aims to encourage more small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to offer apprenticeships across the City Region.

So far, 1,500 SMEs have signed up to take on an apprentice as a result of the programme, which has also seen more than 1,000 apprenticeship starts. For free, impartial information on apprenticeships across the City Region and current vacancies go to http://www.apprenticeship-hubs.co.uk