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Silver Pride Joins Apprenticeship Resurgence

  • Date: 17/06/2011
  • Category: General

Derby-based Silver Pride Software has taken on its first apprentice with the support of Derby College – joining a growing number of businesses who are benefiting from the structured approach to employing and training younger members of staff.

 Silver Pride, which continues to grow rapidly since its launch in 2008, turned to Derby College for help in finding an apprentice and just three days later appointed 17-year-old Layla Harrison into a customer service role.

Director Benjamin Benn explained: “We were looking to expand the team with office support but did not know where to start on the apprenticeship option so asked Derby College to find us some candidates.

“They turned it around very quickly and we are delighted with Layla’s progress.  Although she is working towards customer service qualifications, she is getting involved in all sorts of aspects of our work which is extremely busy particularly on producing feature rich mobile applications for Apple’s iPhone and iPad, bespoke software development and e-commerce websites.

“We are growing rapidly with a recent move to larger offices and a strategic expansion plan for the business.  Layla’s role as an apprentice in the company is a key part of that – working on the front line and in administrative and research support to free up the directors’ time to further expand the business and interface with clients.

“This is a very fast moving working environment and I think that if we had taken on a young person without the structure and support of Derby College through the apprenticeship programme, they may have quickly found themselves out of their depth.

“Going down the apprenticeship route has therefore, effectively, minimised the risk to us of taking on a younger member of staff.  Firstly, the candidates were sourced and vetted by the College and Layla and us as her employers get a great deal of support from the assessor team who regularly come to the office.”

Layla, who lives in Belper and is a former pupil at Belper School, said: “I had registered my details on the national apprenticeship finding website and the College contacted me to see if I was interested in this job.

“It’s really varied and interesting and I am already getting involved in all sorts of areas including competitor analysis and client liaison.

“It can be difficult to find an apprenticeship so I consider myself extremely lucky to have got this position and I am keen to learn as much as I can.”

April Hayhurst, Business Development Assistant Principal at Derby College, concluded: “Silver Pride are one of the latest businesses who have recognised that the apprenticeship programme is good for business – bringing young talent into a business with the support of our training professionals who can tailor the qualifications to a business’ particular requirements.

“I am delighted that the apprenticeship team here rose to the challenge of turning round this enquiry from Silver Pride into an appointment in just three days and we look forward to an on-going working relationship with this expanding and successful local company.”


Media enquiries: Sarah Jenkin-Jones, PR Officer, Derby College, Tel: 07951 945 665;

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The company is headed by Sarah Jenkin-Jones, a former journalist with over 30 years’ business to business, business to consumer and public sector PR experience.

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