THERE's a chance to find out about the very best apprenticeship and training opportunities available in Somerset at an event in Taunton next month.

The free event will be held at Somerset County Cricket Club from 4pm to 7pm on Tuesday, March 12.

It is sponsored by Somerset Skills & Leaning and Somerset College, and run in conjunction with the Somerset County Gazette.

One of the employers and training groups already confirmed for the event is training provider Didac, whose managing director Jon Gibson is himself a former apprentice.

Jon's story began as a schoolboy from Wiveliscombe who had a flair for woodwork and a keenness to learn. His career advisor found him a place on an Apprenticeship scheme at Wellington-based bed makers Reylon Jon said: “The idea of earning money whilst learning a trade appealed to me, and I went along to find out more from Reylon's personnel manager.

“Almost immediately, I decided it was the scheme for me.”

The skills Jon learned during his Apprenticeship, and the passion he developed for furthering his learning, stood him in good stead and at the age of only 21 he was head-hunted by Brunel College in Bristol (Now the City of Bristol College) to become a lecturer in wood machining.

That experience, and the further qualifications and skills he gained at Brunel, enabled him to set up his own company, founding Didac with two colleagues in 1997.

He said: “For me the Apprenticeship path was the best path to the success I craved. It gave me all the experience I needed.

“I like to think my own experience as an apprentice make me a better boss. It certainly gives me an understanding of what young people want to get out of their training.”

Other employers already confirmed for the March event are: Somerset Skills & Learning; Somerset College; Bridgwater College; Richard Huish College; Construction Skills; Hair Academy; PGL Training; Weston College; Train 4 All; Metaltech; Strode College; Acacia Training; CMT Services; and Yeovil College.

For details on the event, see the advertisement on this page.