A North Pennines teenager is starting her career with a job that supports visitor activity in the area where she grew up.
Lauren Bell, from Forest-in-Teesdale, has joined the North Pennines AONB Partnership as Business Administration Apprentice, and will be based at Bowlees Visitor Centre in Upper Teesdale. The two-year apprenticeship will focus on customer service and visitor information and the retail operation at Bowlees. Lauren will also be helping to co-ordinate a programme of events that raise awareness about the North Pennines AONB and UNESCO Global Geopark. She will also be involved in promotion of the centre and activities through the North Pennines AONB Partnership’s social media channels.
Simon Wilson, Business Manager from the North Pennines AONB Partnership, said: “The modern apprenticeship schemes give young people the opportunity to gain valuable skills and access to employment. The North Pennines AONB Partnership continues to actively support apprenticeship schemes and also takes on graduate trainees, benefiting the participants as well as the organisation.
“We’re delighted to have Lauren on board and after her initial induction, she’s ready to welcome visitors to Bowlees Visitor Centre when we open fully for the season on 16 March.”
Lauren attended Teesdale School to study for GCSEs and was a pupil at Forest-in-Teesdale Primary School. She is a farmer’s daughter with a strong connection to the area.
Lauren said: “I was very keen to apply for the apprenticeship as it is a different way into the world of work, and also allows me to work close to home while expanding my skills.
“I love the area, and I am looking forward to helping visitors to make the most of their time here. The North Pennines is a great place to come and get away from it all, and take advantage of the peace and quiet and the beautiful landscape.”
Lauren’s post has been supported by the Teesdale Area Action Partnership (AAP) and Durham County Council. Adam White, Teesdale AAP Co-ordinator said: “We’re delighted to have been able to support this apprenticeship post. Not only are we able to help a local young person into work, we’ll also be supporting the overall offer to visitors to Upper Teesdale.”