THIS week is National Apprenticeship Week, where the hard work of apprentices and training providers is celebrated across the country.

A Worcester-based telecoms firm is helping apprentices get their foot on the ladder, with seven currently working across all departments.

Airband, based in John Comyn Drive, provides high speed broadband for hard to reach rural areas, and has apprentices working in sales, support, finance, IT and customer services.

George Davis, Hannah Baylis, Ellie Pearce, Jamie York, Ella Gwilliam, Marley Adams and Oliver Roffe are all working with the company currently.

Airband HR director, Miranda Peel, said apprenticeships as a vitally important resource for business today. 

She said: “Right from the start, Airband has been keen to support apprenticeships.

"We took on our first apprentice, Alex Lowe, five years ago, when we had a team of just 13 employees.

"We’re now approaching 150 employees, and we have taken on seven apprentices over the past 12 months across different departments and we are already enjoying the hard work and enthusiasm they bring to the business.

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“Our first apprentice, Alex, started as a support technician and went on to complete an IT/networking apprenticeship and has progressed to be a key player within our network operation centre.

“Sourcing staff can be challenging and being able to take on apprentices helps us and other companies cope with skills shortages, and also gives the apprentices a strong career path.

"It gives us great pleasure to watch our apprentices grow and learn, taking on more and more responsibility at a pace that suits them."

Airband has been working in Worcestershire to connect rural communities, with the company working with Upton Town Council to potentially bring free public wifi to the town.

It is not known yet when the wifi system would be up and running in Upton, but Airband has carried out similar work in Kempsey and Guarlford already.

Airband is planning to take on more apprentices across different departments and anyone interested in finding out more about the opportunities available can visit