A KEEN apprentice has been using his new-found skills to help equip hospitals during the pandemic.

Curtis East is one of numerous trainees who have been proving their value by supporting businesses during the Covid-19 crisis.

The systems engineer apprentice went the extra mile for his employer,10 Squared, in Pocklington, by building ventilator cases for hospital use.

Sarah Pearson, of 10 Squared, said: “We were contracted to provide over 700 parts to build ventilator cases for Smith+Nephew at the very start of the crisis. Curtis really stood out for us, putting himself forward for additional shifts and being extremely versatile.

"Curtis was ready to get the job done, whatever that entailed. Much of the work was beyond the scope of his usual role and he was determined to contribute and demonstrate his skills and knowledge. It felt good for Curtis and 10 Squared to help the country when our skills were most needed.”

Fellow York College apprentices have been helping other businesses as they face unprecedented times.

At Deighton Electrical Services, a work experience student has helped to reboot business and has been offered an apprenticeship electrician role to support the company through recovery and growth.

Sam Pallant, an apprentice for Light Gauge Steel Framing in Elvington, who first started work in the company’s drawing office in November 2019, has worked on a range of projects, helping the CAD team and working independently.

He has worked on small projects like summer houses, to large projects, such hotel extensions and modular buildings.

Draughting manager, Daley Wharton, said: “If Sam carries on as he has started, he has a very bright future as his career develops.”

York College is working with employers who appreciate the value of apprenticeships, such as Baba Ganoush Catering, in York, which is offering training to two aspiring chefs.

Britcab Ltd in Easingwold is utilising apprenticeships, with the help of York College, to support an existing staff member to upskill to be a qualified electrician, but also to bring fresh talent into the organisation.

Kerry Jephson, head of business development at York College, said: “The value and impact of apprenticeships for business recovery and growth has never been more relevant."