THREE champions of local business were the first to jump aboard Redditch’s campaign to create 50 new apprenticeships at its launch in the Kingfisher Centre.

Peterson Springs, Oakland International, and Mettis Aerospace were the first employers to sign up to creating more apprenticeships when they joined Redditch Council leader Bill Hartnett to raise the curtain on the Redditch Apprenticeship Challenge at unit 27 in Kingfisher Walk.

A campaign over February and March will seek to show Redditch businesses how and why they would benefit from taking on apprentices, with the aim of creating more local apprenticeships that young people can access through the National Apprenticeship Scheme.

Councillor Hartnett said: “As a former apprentice I know apprenticeships enable young people to get the skills and experience that are vital to get work. And as a major local employer, the borough council is as committed to this challenge as we are to the four apprentices we’re currently training.

“The first few have joined us and now we’re challenging other businesses to play a part in training another generation of skilled workers.”

Richard Bray, from Peterson Springs, added: “Taking on apprentices makes good business sense for us. The best businesses make sure they invest in their workforce’s skills to make sure they remain competitive. Businesses like ours are increasingly realising the enormous benefits that apprenticeships create.”

Potential apprentices will be able to discuss opportunities with NEW College at drop in sessions in the shop unit which has kindly been provided by the Kingfisher Centre for the duration of the campaign.

The challenge is part of a campaign to boost local enterprise and skills by a partnership of Redditch Council, NEW College, the National Apprenticeship Service, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, and the local enterprise partnerships of Worcestershire and Greater Birmingham and Solihull.

Businesses wanting to know more can contact the North Worcestershire Economic Development and Regeneration Team at or call 01527 534082.