THE first two young people who were part of the re-launch of a well-known flooring retailer’s apprenticeship programme have secured full-time positions with the company – with six more also set to be offered jobs in the near future.

And the new scheme has been so successful that Franks the Flooring Store is preparing to offer 11 new apprenticeships to local people.

In 2019, Franks the Flooring Store re-launched its apprenticeship programme in association with Gateshead College.

The programme sees young people spending four days a week working in one of Frank’s network of retail stores in the North-East and another day spent at Gateshead College undertaking classroom-based learning.

The first two people to successfully complete the programme are Ellie Walker and Matty Wright.

Ellie, aged 18, is now working as a full-time retail assistant in the Frank’s store in Consett and Matty, aged 23, has a full-time position at the Sunderland store. They both did their apprenticeships at these stores.

Ellie said: “I am delighted to have been given a permanent position at Frank’s. I learned a lot during my time on the shop floor and in the classroom and I am already setting my sights on a management position in the future.”

Matty said: “I was instantly made to feel part of the Frank’s family, so it’s fantastic to now be working here full-time. I have learned so much.”

Franks the Flooring Store Area manager Ian Hembrough said: “Ellie and Matty have done fantastically well during their apprenticeships and they are definitely two of our rising stars.

“Six more of the apprentices who started the programme are also close to finishing, and if all goes well, we will be able to offer them permanent positions as well.

“The scheme has been so successful that 11 new apprenticeships have been created and they will be starting with us soon.

“Half the management team at Franks started on apprenticeships, so there’s a clear career progression for young people joining the company.”

When they are at Gateshead College, the young people working toward achieving a Retailer Standard Apprenticeship Level 2.