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Sheffield's apprentice


Driver Hire's Jade Hardwick is a perfect example of why apprenticeships work. Jade left Firth Park School, Sheffield in summer 2011 with a reasonable bag of GCSEs, but no particular idea of what to do next. She landed a part-time job in retail, which confirmed that she wanted to work in commerce.


After visiting Sheffield's The Source Skills Academy website she spotted information on apprenticeships and got in touch. Through the Academy an interview was arranged for a newly created position in customer services with Driver Hire Sheffield. It went well and owners Rob Leek and Ian Leadbeater asked her to join their team.


“Jade's apprenticeship lasted for a year,” says Rob. “To successfully complete it Jade had to prove that she was competent at work and complete a Level 2 NVQ in Business Management. We were delighted with her progress and more than happy to offer Jade a permanent position at the end of her apprenticeship.”


“I really enjoy my work,” says Jade. “I'm never bored. I go out to see clients and meet lots of different people. And of course it's very satisfying to know that I'm contributing directly to Driver Hire Sheffield's success.  Some of the visits I've made have resulted in them winning new customers. Whilst obviously not totally down to me, our turnover is up 33% this year.”


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