MORE than 60 young people attended Widnes Jobcentre to help launch their careers through an apprenticeship.

Businesses from across Runcorn and Widnes attended the job centre in Caldwell Road on January 31 to showcase opportunities to residents.

Apprenticeships were available in engineering, hairdressing and beauty therapy, customer service, numerous trades, childcare, business administration, IT, health and social care and catering.

The event also marked the launch of a new Youth Obligation scheme at Widnes Jobcentre, which will help young people improve their confidence and team-working skills ready for the world of work.

Clive Morris, of Jobcentre Plus, said: "It’s been great to see so many people from the area come to speak to employers about the opportunities that are available.

"We want young people in the Widnes and Runcorn area to think about how they want to start their working life, and apprenticeships are a great way for them to start earning while learning the skills they need for a specific job.

"That’s what our Youth Obligation is all about – getting people to think about what they want from work, at an early stage, and helping them to prepare.

"It’s important to know what options they have available to them, be it work experience, an apprenticeship, traineeship, or full employment.”

Among those who attended the event looking for apprenticeship opportunities was19-year-old Ellie Leacy.

Ellie had been studying for A-levels but after re-thinking her future felt the apprenticeship route was right for her.

Ellie said: "I want to go into journalism and the idea of earning while I learn is the right route for me.

"The event’s been great as I had no idea there were so many great opportunities- it’s definitely given me loads of food for thought."

Daresbury Sci-Tech, Jarvis Training, Interserve, and Riverside College at Widnes were just some of the businesses that attended the event to speak to potential new apprentices.

Jonathan Aghanian from Sci-Tech said: "I think it’s really important that the jobcentre provides these events because what it gives us is direct access to young people in the area who are interested in working for an employer from the area.

"We can speak to them in lots of detail about the roles that are on offer and can help them through the application process.

"We can even give them advice on how their CV should be presented to us and talk about the interview process so that when they do go through that application with us they are much better prepared and hopefully have a better chance of securing a role with ourselves."