Mo Chaudry, who shot to fame as one of Channel 4’s ‘Secret Millionaires’, oversaw the presentations on Tuesday when Staffordshire training providers’ reached the milestone of its 10,000th apprentice.
“PM Training deserve a much higher profile than they have,” said Mr Chaudry, who owns the WaterWorld attraction in Stoke-on-Trent. “They provide over 1,000 job and training opportunities each year and 70% of their trainees go on to pursue long-term training or permanent employment – that is one of the highest success rates in the country!”
PM Training operates as a social enterprise (a business with social objectives) targeting unemployed teenagers who leave school without qualifications, as well as those facing exclusion from education.
Chief Executive Will Nixon said: “We have been supporting and supplying apprentices to local companies since 1982.
“Celebrating our 10,000th learner is not only a major milestone for us, but an achievement for the community too - we are successfully working together to transform employment prospects for the region.”
Their 10,000th success, 17-year-old Jess Wakefield, was given the opportunity to embark on a career that she has long dreamed of when she was enrolled on a painting and decorating apprenticeship yesterday.
Unemployment in the North Staffordshire is way above the national average, but Jess is determined not to become another statistic.
“To be offered an apprenticeship is fantastic and now I’m really looking forward to the future,” she said.
Mr Chaudry, who has become a champion of creating and sustaining employment in Staffordshire, joined forces with PM Training last year to act as a mentor to the hundreds of young local people that they help.
“I realised while making Secret Millionaire that young people need positive role models in their lives in order to become more motivated, gain confidence and get on in life,” he said.
“As a result I have relished the opportunity to work with young people at PM Training. Jess is an excellent example of such a person who now believes that anything is possible.”