Burnley firm receives 200 applications for apprenticeship scheme

MP Gordon Birtwistle meets with CEO Angela Spindler and apprentices during his visit to the Original Factory Shop on Burnley.'Photo Ben Parsons

MP Gordon Birtwistle meets with CEO Angela Spindler and apprentices during his visit to the Original Factory Shop on Burnley.'Photo Ben Parsons

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A DISTRIBUTION centre at the heart of a thriving national concern is blazing a trail for apprenticeships.

The Original Factory Shop, on the Billington Road industrial estate, launched its own apprenticeship scheme last year to give local teenagers who had taken A-levels a chance to join a growing company.

Of the 16 taken on, seven have been offered a full-time role while six remain on the scheme.

To date, the firm has had more than 200 applications for its next intake, due to begin next month, and applications are still being accepted.

Apprenticeships are all based at the head office in Burnley, pay £100 a week, include day release to college and last an initial 12 months. They embrace buying and merchandising, human resources and working in the warehouse alongside £1m. management systems being invested.

The company employs 130 people and has just had a 125,000 sq. ft. extension to its warehouse, costing £250,000. It is also looking for around 100 temporary workers to in the run-up to Christmas, and some of the jobs may also become permanent.

Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle visited the firm to hear about its apprenticeships from chief executive Angela Spindler, and met some of the young workers.

“I was very impressed,” said Mr Birtwistle. “Every apprentice was from Burnley and the majority of the workforce are from Burnley. It is very progressive and obviously a good company to have in Burnley.”

Anyone interested in applying for an apprenticeship should visit www.theoriginalfactoryshop.co.uk or post their C.V. to Penny White at The Original Factory Shop, Orient Business Park, Billington Road, Burnley, BB11 5UB.

She said: “After completing your A-levels it can be a difficult time deciding what to do next. With university fees going up, many students are deciding to get their foot on the career ladder straight from school and making the right choice at this stage can be crucial to your career path.

“We believe that joining us straight from school is a great way to learn and gain valuable experience in an exciting and challenging new role. Each position has an important role to play in the running of the business, so our new recruits will all be integral members of the team. They will spend time within their chosen department, but also have the opportunity to learn about other areas of the business.

“We pride ourselves on being a local company so it is very important for us to find local talent in and around Burnley who can be the future stars of the company.”