Scheme helps boost careers in rural areas

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National park chiefs are driving forward an apprenticeship scheme which is helping budding entrepreneurs launch their careers in rural North Yorkshire amid tough economic pressures.

The North York Moors National Park Authority is welcoming its 17th apprentice in June - meaning apprentices will make up almost 14 per cent of the organisation’s work force.

Callum Hymas, 17, from Malton, will take on a three-year advanced apprenticeship in accountancy - a newly-created scheme at the authority.

The authority has run a successful apprenticeship in conservation management for nine years which has helped young people find employment with organisations like the Forestry Commission and local landowners. Several have also gone on to set up their own enterprises.

It currently has seven apprentices on this scheme, with a further six on an apprenticeship set up with the Environment Agency to tackle flooding in the Great Ayton area. Three young people are also getting valuable office work experience and doing Level 3 business administration courses at the authority’s Helmsley headquarters.

Ian Nicholls, the authority’s assistant director of corporate services, said: “Our apprentices all show great enthusiasm and dedication to their work so I’m delighted that we are able to extend the range of schemes. Finding employment is tough at the moment, particularly in rural areas. Apprenticeships are not only beneficial to us as an employer but I hope will also equip young people with the skills and experience they need to prosper in their future careers.”

The Yorkshire Post revealed last month that the authority has also recently added its support to a new apprenticeship scheme to give young people the skills to look after the area’s distinctive heritage. The project’s aim is to preserve the knowledge of some of the most experienced estate workers in the National Park by passing on their expertise to a younger generation.