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Parkgate Apprentices put to the test

4 February 2014

Rotherham United Community Sports Trust team up with Parkgate Shopping...

Selected in part for their fitness and interest in sport, 10 young trainees from Rotherham United Community Sport’s Trust (RUCST) experienced an entirely different challenge when they had to appear in front of an interview panel comprising representatives of their sponsor, Parkgate Shopping.

The 10 young people have been shortlisted to become the third Parkgate Apprentice, and the interview was part of a series of tests to assess each candidate’s suitability for the role.

“Whilst they have grown quite confident and comfortable when delivering a coaching session to a particular group, because this was the first time that they had been in this situation, understandably they were all very nervous when faced with an interview designed to test their verbal skills and initiative,” explained  RUCST’s James Rawlinson.

But, according to Parkgate’s Nigel Keenlyside, who carried out some of the interviews, they all sailed through with flying colours. 

He said: “It was a delight to interview, and spend some time with the Parkgate Apprentice candidates. I was very impressed with their overall commitment, the way they have dedicated themselves to making a success of their opportunity and their enthusiasm to learn as much as possible from the programme. Clearly they have all come a long way since the first day they walked through the door.”

He and his colleagues at Parkgate, Manager Denis Copeland and Operations Manager, Billy Smith, are left however with a real problem: how to select a winner from such a talented bunch of young people?

The three year Parkgate Apprentice Programme was developed in 2011 with Parkgate’s owners, British Land sponsorship, as an investment in local young people, raising their aspirations and inspiring them to believe in themselves to create positive futures. Last year’s winner, Mused Salem, is already making a name for himself within the RUCSP team.

“When we finally announce the 2014 winner in May, he or she will definitely be crowned ‘the best of the best’, and all the other trainees who came so close  can also look forward to promising careers,” said Parkgate’s Billy Smith.

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