Page 20 - MarketTimesFebruary2013
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Market Times • February 2013
 Trailblazing NMTF apprenticeship scheme gets off to a flying start
AFTER years applying unsuccessfully for hundreds of jobs, Daniel Brobbery-Gray was losing hope and heart. He was finding it hard to be positive after every job application ended in disappointment.
So he was not overly optimistic when college told him of some new apprenticeship opportunities at Manchester’s Arndale Market, but he applied anyway in the hope that his luck would change — and how right he was.
After securing an apprenticeship on the NMTF Retail Apprenticeship Scheme (NMTF RAS), Daniel’s life has been transformed and he is looking forward to a bright future in a job he has found he loves.
Daniel, 22, told Market Times: “I left school at 16 and since then I have applied for hundreds of jobs and attended scores of interviews. I did all the pre-employment courses available and got help from college on improving my interview skills, but nothing seemed to work.”
So he was thrilled when he was told he had been selected as one of four new apprentices on the NMTF’s innovative new apprenticeship scheme, which aims to get young people into market trading and breathe new life into the markets scene.
The scheme is being piloted in Manchester and is being delivered by the National Skills Academy for Retail in conjunction with The Manchester College in the region.
Daniel was one of the first four long-term unemployed young people to begin their apprenticeships at Manchester’s Arndale Market. Daniel is working for Whales Fisheries; Natasha Warrington, 20, is an apprentice at Direct Fisheries. Mubbasher Ahmed is working for Strawberry Gardens and Emma O’Neil, 18, has been taken on as an apprentice by the fledgling but rapidly expanding cheese business, The Queen Brie.
“Of all the jobs I applied for and the careers I dreamed of, a market fishmonger was something that never occurred to me — but I absolutely love it,” Daniel said.
And his fellow apprentices and the traders who took them on are equally enthusiastic.
After four weeks as an apprentice, Emma O’Neil said: “I am really enjoying it. Before I started I thought it might be a bit dull but it is the opposite. It is really lively. You are always busy and everyone is so friendly.”
Helen O’Mara, who started The Queen Brie in November 2011 and has recently launched a
second cheese business at Oldham Market, said: “This is a really good scheme and Emma is a great help.”
Helen said she had realised she couldn’t expand the business as she wanted to while serving behind the counter seven days a week. She took on staff to run the Oldham business and jumped at the opportunity to take on an apprenticeship to free her up to successfully expand her business.
“The beauty of the scheme is that it is so simple. All you have to do is pay £140 a week and all the other aspects of employing someone are done for you,” she added.
Natasha Warrington, 20, said she had been interested in an apprenticeship with a fishmonger because her sister had worked for one. “I am enjoying the work and I like the fact that you meet so many people,” she said.
And Mubbasher Ahmed is also enjoying his apprenticeship with flourishing fruit and veg business Strawberry Gardens. He said: “I have always wanted to work in the markets as you get to do all kinds of tasks and I like the busy environment.”
NMTF Chief Executive Joe Harrison said: “The NMTF is delighted to see Manchester
An apprenticeship scheme in your area?
The NMTF Retail Apprenticeship Scheme is still in the pilot stage — but operators and traders are being encouraged to register their interest in taking on apprentices on their markets.
The scheme is up and running in Manchester, and other pilots are in the final planning stage, notably at Sheffield, Kirklees and Bristol.
But the National Skills Academy for Retail is keen to look at other areas. If you, either as an individual trader
or as a market operator, think you
could get half a dozen or so traders together to offer places,
please contact NMTF Assistant Chief Executive Julien Lewis by email — — and he will take it from there.
To have a closer look at the scheme, including the £1,500 grant to support traders offering apprenticeships, go to and download the pdf leaflet.
           National Market Traders Federation
Retail Apprenticeship Scheme
Finding the best young recruits for market traders
As a trader your staff are your business. Finding the right staff who are enthusiastic about market trading and eager to learn and develop your business can be difficult. The National Market Traders Federation Retail Apprenticeship Scheme offers an effective and affordable solution to this problem.
What is NMTF Retail Apprenticeship Scheme?
The NMTF Retail Apprenticeship Scheme is a new concept in Apprenticeships by the National Market Traders Federation. Delivered exclusively by the National Skills Academy for Retail the scheme uses a network of skills shops to assess and identify how your business would benefit from an apprentice.
Each apprentice on the Retail Apprenticeship Scheme is selected by you and your local skills shop before they start the Apprenticeship placement to ensure there is a suitable match.
Each apprentice is given two weeks of pre-placement classroom- based training meaning you gain a work-ready employee. They then continue their learning with 10 one-day sessions throughout the one year placement.
£1,500 grant
The apprentice is recruited, trained and, importantly for you, employed by the Retail Apprenticeship Training Agency (part of the National Skills Academy for Retail) who manages the Retail Apprenticeship Scheme. This reduces the risk, cost, time and administration to your business.
A £1,500 Apprenticeship grant may be available to support traders with their first apprentices throughout the scheme.
There are many benefits to your business when considering an Apprenticeship. All we ask is you provide the apprentice with the opportunity to experience first-hand, the skills needed to work in
a trader environment - as you would develop any member of the workforce.
Benefits of NMTF Retail Apprenticeship Scheme
Develop staff loyalty: being part of the NMTF Retail Apprenticeship Scheme will show your employees you are serious about developing their talents and skills in your business. Each apprentice will be motivated to do a good job, as they come out of the scheme with a Retail Apprenticeship: a technical certificate, a Retail Apprenticeship qualification (Level 2) and the key skills of working with numbers and communication
Low cost: you pay a fee of approximately £140 per week to the NMTF Retail Apprenticeship Scheme which covers the apprentice wages, National Insurance contributions and the agency costs while they are on placement
Low commitment: you can employ the apprentice permanently after the one year Apprenticeship term. By doing so recruitment costs are reduced and you have an employee who knows your business Help the local community: you show commitment to the local community by helping retain high calibre young people for the local economy
An extra team member: you gain a member of staff who is motivated to work within the industry whilst avoiding potential responsibilities of a permanent employee
Responsibility for the apprentice: if there are any work related issues with the apprentice, the responsibility will be with the Retail Apprenticeship Training Agency (as the employer) to resolve any problems.

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