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West Mercia Police welcomes new apprentices as part of National Apprenticeship Week

West Mercia Police has welcomed two new apprentices to its policing family as National Apprenticeship Week is celebrated up and down the country.

Running from 4 - 8 March, this annual celebration of apprenticeships brings the whole apprenticeship community together to celebrate the benefits of apprenticeships on individuals and employers. This year's theme is 'Blaze a Trail', and West Mercia Police's latest apprentices will also be hoping to make their mark as they start their employment with the force.

The West Mercia Police apprentice project looks to provide a variety of people with experience within the policing sector whilst studying for a professional qualification. It provides apprentices with a wide range of workplace skills, and enables the staff members supporting them to build on their supervisory and mentoring experience.

The newest recruits on the project are Geraint, Technical Support Assistant Apprentice and Rhys, Technical Support Apprentice.

Rhys said: "I have always been interested in ICT from a young age and my sights have been set on a career within ICT, either as a 'techy' or a business surrounded role. I applied to join the police with influence from a family policing background, and I have always had an interest in working towards bettering the community we live in. It is going very well so far and I have enjoyed getting involved in the thick of the change environment surrounding ICT and the ICT backbone to policing.

"Apprenticeships are, in my personal opinion, the best way for young people to enter the working world whilst gaining the same level of qualifications that of universities and sixth forms. I would say that if you want to earn a salary and pursue a specific career path, or simply to gain workplace experience, definitely consider an apprenticeship."

Tania Coppola, Head of People Services at West Mercia Police said "The apprentice scheme is a welcome addition to what West Mercia Police can offer the public in terms of a variety of opportunities within the police family.  There are a number of business benefits to having an apprenticeship programme within the force.

Our apprenticeships offer opportunities for a wide range of people to gain experience working for West Mercia Police, enabling them to work alongside our experienced staff, gain job-specific skills and gain confidence within a working environment whilst receiving time for study, a salary and holiday pay. Our apprentices also benefit from the mutual support of our Apprentice Network, and I am delighted to be welcoming Geraint and Rhys to both the organisation and the Network. We certainly benefit from the fresh approach and positive attitude our apprentices bring".

To celebrate the week, West Mercia Police's apprentices will be taking to social media channels to tell the public how they have blazed a trail and aspire, learn and benefit through the apprenticeship scheme. Look out for posts and the hashtag #AlwaysLearning on West Mercia Police's Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds.