WHEN teenager Jade Scott completed her A levels, she wasn’t sure where her career would take her next.
Jade, 18, of Castle Road, Prudhoe, enrolled with an apprenticeship agency and waited to see what it would bring.
And what it brought was an apprenticeship with her local MP.
Hexham Conservative MP Guy Opperman had decided to give a local youngster the chance to develop as an apprentice in his own constituency office.
Jade, then 17, went on to the list of candidates. Then she went on to the shortlist of three. And then she finally landed the job.
That was last year, since when Jade, a former pupil at Prudhoe Community High School, has had her apprenticeship extended twice.
She’s now running until June, when she will decide her next step.
For Mr Opperman, the first MP to take an apprentice under his wing, taking on a local apprentice was an important example to set – a token of the need to give bright young school-leavers a career chance.
“And since then, two other MPs have followed suit,” he says. “It’s about doing the right thing, about giving local people an opportunity.
“I can choose who I employ, and I chose to make sure I employed an apprentice and give a local young person a start.”
The fifth National Apprenticeship Week is up-and-running this week, while north east unemployment figures have hit a 17-year high.
Jade said. “It’s going really well. I would have been going into business somewhere and I’ve enjoyed working in Mr Opperman’s constituency office in Hexham.
“I finished my sixth-form and went to the agency, where this apprenticeship came up.
“When it comes to future work, I will be well-prepared because of what I’m doing now.”