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Foreign youngsters celebrate success at apprenticeship ‘Boot Camp’ on Thu 24th October, 2013

Two foreign workers were selected from 45 applicants to be awarded full-time, paid trade-apprenticeships at property maintenance and refurbishment company this week. has pioneered it own system of apprenticeship ‘Boot Camps’ where youngsters are put through a series of numeracy, English language and stamina tests at the company’s South London headquarters.

“We all know the awful situation for youngsters who are currently trying to find their first break in the world of work,” said Will Davies the founder and MD of

“The standard of applicants for our latest boot camp were nothing short of outstanding and we have selected the two who we felt would give the greatest input to the company: it just so happens that they were both born outside the UK,” said Mr Davies.

The successful candidates who scored the highest in the boot camp selection process where Vasile Andrei Doroftei (a Romanian national) and Matthew Wicks (who was born in Zimbabwe).

Vasile has been working in London since 2009 and prior to this week’s success was a self-employed handyman. Matthew has been working as a gap year tutor involved with physical education lessons at Sherborne School in Dorset.

"The winners are over the moon with being selected but it is not only about them. The feedback from all the other contestants was that they had a great day, learnt some useful skills and will be coming back to the next boot camp to try again," said Mr Davies.

The boot camp had received adverse comments from several youth employment organisations due to a Boris Johnson look-a-like presiding over a lunchtime race on ‘Boris’ bikes.

“The ‘Boris’ bike race during the lunch break was an opt-in for anyone who wanted to have a laugh. It did not get in the way of the serious drills,” explained Mr Davies.

"Political correctness needs to be left at the door in relation to youth unemployment. The plight facing young people is so immense in terms of job prospects that you need to have a sense of humour.

“Organisations that are levelling criticism at us for showing some initiative to lighten the atmosphere need to think again.

“Boris Johnson has been an outspoken critic of the work ethic, or lack of it, that is present amongst some of our young people. He is a key proponent of getting youngsters off their backsides and trying to create opportunities for themselves. He doesn't mince his words. We have taken the spirit of Boris Johnson in terms of the tough love approach to youth unemployment,” said Mr Davies.

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John Price, Hillgrove PR.

Hillgrove PR

T. +44 (0) 20 3603 0366