Regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers is investing in the career of a young County Durham woman after signing her up as their first ever apprentice.
Abigail Cook has joined the Newcastle-based firm on a two-year apprenticeship programme, which will see her getting a thorough grounding in the financial and logistical work involved with the business investment process.
Abigail, who is 17, has joined NEL after completing her AS Level year at St Leonard’s School in Durham and deciding that the time had come to enter the world of work.
She is currently taking an NVQ Level Two qualification in Business Administration with Gateshead College, through which the apprenticeship was set up, and will move on to take the Level Three course during the coming two years.
And she is advising other young people who are thinking about taking a similar career route to make use of all the advice and support available before deciding what they want to do.
Abigail Cook says: “I was pretty sure that the time had come to jump straight into work, and the staff at St Leonard’s were really supportive in helping me prepare for making the move in the best possible way.
“Going down the apprenticeship route offers lots of opportunities for young people who want to start making their own way in the world, and taking my NVQs with Gateshead College means that I’m also continuing to learn.
“I was especially interested in the investment work that NEL carries out, which is exposing me to lots of different types of businesses, and the experience I’m now getting is giving me a grounding in finance and accountancy that will help me identify the career path I eventually want to follow.”
NEL Fund Managers has been successfully investing in North East firms for more than a quarter of a century, and in the last seven years alone, it has invested around £30m in expanding businesses right across the region from the Finance For Business North East Growth Fund that it manages.
Yvonne Gale, chief executive at NEL, adds: “Apprentices play an important role within many of the businesses with which we work, and we felt creating this new role would be advantageous to our busy investment and portfolio teams as well as to the apprentice themselves.
“We had a lot of interest in the position, but Abigail stood out as the best candidate in the group and we’re pleased to now have her on board.
“She is a very capable and dedicated young woman who has settled well into her new role with us, and we’re looking forward to seeing her contribution to the business grow as she learns more and more about what we do.”
For more information about NEL’s investment criteria, visit www.nel.co.uk or contact the investment team on 0345 369 7007.