In oLogoCyan-member-webur first press outing The Apprentice Store has featured in the Executive Magazine. June’s edition features the IN-Business supplement by Inverness Chamber of Commerce and is also being distributed at the AMM Scottish Open Golf Championships being held at Castle Stuart.

“FOR a small business, hiring apprentices sometimes is not as easy as it could be.

Some smaller businesses may have limited resource for supporting apprentices, others may have only a part-time requirement for an apprentice, while some may have a need for many different skill sets that might not be present in just one apprentice.

David and Irene Massey believe they have a solution with their new social enterprise, The Apprentice Store.

“We came up with the idea for The Apprentice Store through talking to small businesses and listening to their needs,” Irene said.

“The Apprentice Store employs and pays the wages of apprentices who are guided by our mentors who develop their skills. The apprentice will spend some of their time in the mentor’s business, gaining valuable hands-on experience. Businesses then approach The Apprentice Store and book out someone who is training in the particular skills they require, safe in the knowledge that they are competent and being overseen by an expert.”

The Apprentice Store offers apprentices employment security during a two-year training programme.

“The minimum commitment required from a business wanting to use our apprentice pool is one day a month over 12 months – this initial commitment is for an apprentice training in a particular learning stream,” Irene said. “Thereafter, businesses can schedule time with any of our available apprentices. You could have your regular digital marketing apprentice and a technical support or perhaps a cyber security apprentice for however many additional days you need.”

Launching in Inverness in June, the service will initially offer IT apprentices, employing those with other skills as demand requires. The hope is to roll out the model across other areas of Scotland within the year.

David said: “Through our shared apprentice programme, we want to increase employment for 16 to 24-years-olds while equipping people with the softer skills that go hand-in-hand with the technical ones. This way our apprentices will be more rounded, confident and employable and a valuable member of the young workforce, while giving small businesses a helping hand.”

Interested in getting involved? Then register your interest here. You can let us know what type of apprentice skills your business needs.