TWO hundred young people have taken positive steps on the career ladder in the past six months as part of St Helens Chamber’s challenge for businesses to create 365 jobs and apprenticeships in 2014.

The latest openings are two apprenticeships at Haydock based JustAccounts who specialise in payroll software used by accountants and businesses across nationwide. The positions were filled with the support of St Helens Chamber.

Team Supervisor Alex Mussell told the Star: “We have doubled in size in the last six months, as a company we are keen on creating opportunities for local people.

“The two apprentices that have already joined us are doing extremely well indeed, so we are pleased to offer similar opportunities to two more.

“Simone Allen joined us two years ago with little experience but over the years she has gained valuable knowledge and she is now a vital part of the team.

“Sophie Turner also came to us without much experience of the workplace but with coaching and persistence she has quickly developed.

“When an opportunity arose within the company Sophie was interviewed for the position and has since been promoted to a new role.

“I would really encourage other businesses to consider Apprenticeships.

“When you meet young people who are keen to start an Apprenticeship you realise that they want more than just a job, they really want a career.

“Simone and Sophie have both been eager to learn and have grown with the business.”

Apprenticeship training is provided free of charge by the Chamber’s Business School and grants that can cover half the young person’s wages in the first year are available.

Businesses wishing to pledge vacancies should contact St Helens Chamber on 01744 742333.

Young people looking for work can call into Starting Point in Hardshaw Street or contact the Chamber on 01744 742000.