A WORCESTER insurance broker celebrated National Apprentice Week by celebrating taking on another apprentice.

Georgia Bates, aged 18, from Worcester, who joined the firm 10 months ago, is the 25th apprentice to be taken on by SJL Insurance

To honour the achievement, MP Robin Walker visited SJL Insurance to recognise their success in helping local people get professional apprenticeships.

Eleven apprentices are still employed at the firm and five of those have been successfully trained by SJL Insurance to climb the ladder to a Team Leader position.

The firm, set up by chief executive Simon Lancaster in 2001, has offices in London, Bristol and Worcester, where the majority of the firm’s staff work.

Mr Lancaster said: “I started as a £40 per week apprentice myself back in 1996, so apprenticeship schemes are particularly close to my heart.

“Our continuous growth and expansion is built on our staff’s expertise, professionalism and drive. I have always believed that if you look after and progress staff to fulfil their potential, then you will both reap the rewards.

“Due to the phenomenal team spirit, focus and collective intelligence, we can now insure any type of business in the UK and our expertise ranges from property and commercial risk, to kidnap and ransom.”

Mr Walker said: “SJL Insurance is one of Worcester’s leading examples of how successful apprenticeship schemes can help local people by creating local jobs.

“I visited SJL Insurance in December 2014 to award them with an Apprenticeship Award and it’s great to come back again during the Government’s National Apprenticeship Week to see their continued success in this area.

“I am delighted to see that the company has now taken on 25 apprentices in total. Simon started his own career as an apprentice, and this has undoubtedly contributed to his commitment to training up future generations.