BUSINESSES in York are continuing to support young people and the local economy by backing the York Apprenticeship Challenge.

The campaign, launched by The Press, in association with City of York Council, the National Apprenticeship Service and other key partners, aimed to create 100 apprenticeship opportunities in 100 days – and the target was achieved only 70 days into the challenge.

But York businesses are still employing apprentices, with Coalters estate agents being the latest to sign up to the scheme.

Amber Siadatan, 18, will gain an NVQ in business and administration following a six-month apprenticeship.

With two A-levels under her belt, Amber was keen to enter the world of work and had always been attracted to estate agency.

She has become part of the admin team, with responsibility for preparing property brochures, creating floor plans and liaising with customers.

Reuben Barrett, managing director of Coalters, says: “Amber is a real asset to the team. She’s keen to learn and is enjoying her experience in the workplace.

“We’re pleased to invest time and resources in young people by supporting the apprenticeship challenge.”

About 60 employers, including City of York Council and FERA, have so far taken on apprentices in a range of roles, including hairdressing, communications and construction.

Coun Julie Gunnell, cabinet member for corporate services at City of York Council, said: “It can be tough for school leavers to get on the employment ladder, so this campaign is all about giving them the best possible start in their working lives.”

Sue Price, director for the National Apprenticeship Service in the north, said: “We have been genuinely overwhelmed by the positive response.

“To have achieved the goal just past the halfway mark marks an incredible achievement by York’s businesses, in association with the partners involved.”

The campaign officially ends on September 22, but City of York Council said it would continue to work with the National Apprenticeship Service and training providers to fill as many pledges as possible.

To find out more about becoming an apprentice, visit or phone Connexions on 01904 555400.