Ross Cannell
Jill Farmer (Dobson)

Member Article

New recruit as Amici's goes for growth

A Newcastle restaurant has given a teenager who longed for an apprenticeship a chance to prove himself.

Ross Cannell, 19, from Gosforth, has been taken on as an apprentice by Amici’s Restaurants in Forest Hall.

Ross applied for a bundle of apprenticeships after leaving sixth form, where he completed BTEC qualifications. He was then offered an opportunity to improve his chances of winning an apprenticeship – by joining a new, free Access to Careers course, with Access Training on the Team Valley.

The course helped Ross develop the skills he needed to be successful at interviews and he is now working towards an advanced business administration apprenticeship at Amici’s. The family firm has taken Ross on to support its drive to grow the business – particularly its corporate catering provision.

The Access to Careers course is free for 16-24 year olds and covers employability skills, CV writing, applying for apprenticeship vacancies and preparing for interviews. The programme leads to an OCN Progression Award, while students also get one-to-one support to apply for apprenticeships across Tyne and Wear.

Amici’s, which employs 25 people, was established as an Italian restaurant 10 years ago and has since expanded to include a Mediterranean eatery and a take-away business.

Ross said: “The pre-apprenticeship course was just what I needed; it gave me extra confidence and taught me how to show off my skills and enthusiasm in interviews with employers.

“I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship so far; I’m going to be involved in helping grow the business through social media, as well as taking care of the office administration.”

Managing director, Malcolm Armstrong, explains why his company launched the pre-apprenticeship course: “We have been helping young people start careers for 25 years and we see lots of 16-18 year olds who would love to get an apprenticeship but aren’t quite work-ready, in terms of skills and self confidence. This course is designed especially for them and seems to give them a distinct advantage when applying for apprenticeship vacancies.”

The course, which is held at the Skills Academy on Team Valley, is free because it is government-funded and travel expenses are also paid.

The sessions are held three days a week, over two weeks.

Access Training is an award winning training provider and has helped over 5,000 people start and develop careers. It offers apprenticeships at intermediate, advanced and higher levels in a wide range of occupational areas. Access is the only training provider in Tyne and Wear to achieve the Training Quality Standard.

For information and course dates call Kate on 0191 490 2377 or email

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Jill Farmer (Dobson) .

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