Member of the Week - The Apprentice Store

This week’s Member of the Week is The Apprentice Store – a new social enterprise aiming to increase the employability of young people through shared apprenticeships.  We’ve been speaking to David Massey, Managing Director, to find out more.

“In addition to offering our aim to young people, we will offer employment to disabled, disadvantaged and the long-term unemployed.  The organisation operates a very collaborative working model with the focus of this on the development of our apprentices and we seek to work with customers and mentors to support our apprentices.  Unlike the Modern Apprenticeship scheme, where businesses need to make a full-time commitment and distract resource to the management of the apprentice, our programme offers part-time access to a supervised apprentice.”

David explained that his role will involve offering mentoring support to apprentices that are following the streams that he has experience in.  David has a long history of working in the technology sector and has seen first-hand the struggle of finding local resource to fill job opportunities, as well as the struggle that IT businesses have in gaining access to cost-effective and reliable services. 

David has been providing Information Assurance Consultancy services to clients throughout the UK – examining how they can address the risks that face the business – particularly around cyber security.  David also provides independent advice on general IT projects, as well as being involved in the Coder Dojo which is based at the STEM Hub at An Lòchran, alongside the new Inverness College UHI Campus.  Although David is heavily involved in STEM as both an ambassador and as an advisor on their Specialist Advisor Framework, those who know him well will know his first love is playing squash – both at the Inverness Tennis & Squash Club but also as a board member of Scottish Squash.

When asked why The Apprentice Store was keen to feature as Member of the Week, David said:

“We recognise the invaluable coverage that being a Chamber member brings, and with the planned commencement of trading in January, it was a perfect opportunity to highlight our services to businesses in the area.”

In short, The Apprentice Store is looking to advertise the fact that it is seeking new customers, be it any business of any size, to gain access to talented people who are at the start of their career.  Whilst the apprentices will be at the the start of their chosen discipline, they will always be supported by an experienced mentor who will ensure that the client achieves the agreed job goals.

The Apprentice Store offers a new model for businesses to be able to grow their business, develop young people and also to assist in meeting their community and social objectives.  David said:

“There is an extreme shortage of people with digital skills across Scotland and these are core to most business operations delivering efficiency in operations and we hope that our collaborative model and ethics can improve the skills shortage in the area.”

After the initial launch period, The Apprentice Store is looking to add new disciplines to the two that it already has open.  The team will also look to increase opportunities geographically across the Highlands, with Inverness being the core service delivery point for certain disciplines.  The organisation will be supporting Inverness Chamber’s Developing the Young Workforce programme going forward, as well as offering foundation apprenticeships through engagement with education.

Although not currently trading, The Apprentice Store plans to be up and running from January 2017, when the team will move in to new offices at Fairways Business Park.  For more information, please visit the website.  

Keep up to date with more Member of the Week posts throughout the week on social media:

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Inverness Chamber of Commerce
The Apprentice Store

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Inverness Chamber of Commerce
The Apprentice Store