The success of a City of Wolverhampton College student who learnt his trade on a City of Wolverhampton Council housing project has highlighted the benefits of apprenticeships.

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Cameron Bridgen, from Wednesfield, was taken on by Kier Group as a Level 2 apprentice carpenter on its Thompson Avenue housing development in June 2014.

Since then the 19 year old has climbed the ladder and has recently secured a management position with Kier.

Cameron said: "I was studying accountancy at sixth form but it wasn't for me so I made the decision to start an apprenticeship in carpentry.

"I haven't looked back since and I enjoy working with everyone at Kier where I am the youngest employee.

"It shows apprenticeships are a great way to progress if you put your mind to it and are willing to put the effort it."

The City of Wolverhampton Council is working with city partners to promote apprenticeships and the City of Wolverhampton College and the University of Wolverhampton are offering apprenticeships across a whole range of programme areas.

The university has established an Apprenticeship Hub in the city centre and together with the college is providing a 'one stop' comprehensive offer for employers from Level 2 through to Level 7.

Councillor John Reynolds, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: "Improving skills among the young people in our city is crucial to our economic regeneration.

"Apprenticeships are an excellent pathway into employment - and Cameron is evidence of that.

"The council also employs a number of apprentices in a variety of departments from neighbourhood services to digital transformation, and it has proved a very successful way to recruit staff.

"Not all young people are suited to classroom based learning and apprenticeships are a great way to learn while you earn.

"Learning in the workplace through apprenticeships is also a good way for businesses to grow and develop the particular skills and attitudes they need in their company and gives young people much needed work experience and qualifications while avoiding the debt that comes with traditional academic routes.

"Local skills and employment partners and training providers are committed to driving up the number, quality and range of opportunities for people and business across the city.

"We are committed to seeing more opportunities made available in areas of high demand like health and social care and construction, as well as provide opportunities to support higher level opportunities in advanced manufacturing and engineering."

Kier Apprenticeships Manager, Abdul Mozzamdar, said: "Here at Kier we have a long and proud history of supporting, nurturing and progressing apprentices across our varying business units.

"We believe in investing in our future workforce and 'growing' our own talent.

"Cameron is a testimony of our desire to progress apprentices, who show potential, into management and technical positions within Kier.

"He has continued to impress us week on week with his commitment and desire to learn and his mature approach to work.

"We started to see Cameron as a potential future site manager for Kier as he had all the right attributes, skills and strengths.

"In January, we decided to expand Cameron's roll and gave him more managerial responsibilities on site - and he hasn't looked back since.

"We have therefore taken the decision to offer Cameron a full time permanent position as a trainee assistant site manager and we will also be paying for his Foundation degree and any future training requirements."

For more information about apprenticeships, please contact the city's Apprenticeship Hub by calling 01902 323127 or emailing

  • released: Tuesday 9 August, 2016