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Sheep and apprentices on the Isle of Dogs greet Tower Hamlets mayor at Mudchute Farm

PUBLISHED: 10:06 12 March 2018 | UPDATED: 11:55 12 March 2018

Mayor Biggs wasn't sheepish about meeting the animals at Mudchute urban farm on the Isle of Dogs. Picture source: LBTH

Mayor Biggs wasn't sheepish about meeting the animals at Mudchute urban farm on the Isle of Dogs. Picture source: LBTH

LBTH

The sheep got a visit from the mayor promoting National Apprenticeship Week when he looked in at Mudchute city farm on the Isle of Dogs.

Animal care apprentice Louie Legon (left) with Mayor John Biggs and Mudchute farm manager Tom Davis during Apprentice Week. Picture source: LBTHAnimal care apprentice Louie Legon (left) with Mayor John Biggs and Mudchute farm manager Tom Davis during Apprentice Week. Picture source: LBTH

Europe’s largest urban farm has been given Tower Hamlets Council funding for three new apprentices, with two recruits just joining the first apprentice who has been working on the farm for a year.

Tanjima Khanam, 21, from Poplar, was already volunteering at the farm when the apprenticeship opportunity came up.

“It’s been quite a journey to get here,” she said. “I want to stay here for as long as possible.”

They work in accounts, childcare and animal care and are training for NVQ qualifications, arranged by the East End Community Foundation.

One of the new apprentices is 19-year-old Louie Legon who originally I wanted to be a zookeeper. He revealed: “I get assessed every couple of months and am learning something new every day.”

The money to pay for their training comes from levies that the council, like all local authorities, charges developers for planning consent on major schemes, to benefit the community.

The town hall has committed to broker 1,000 placements through the Mayor’s Apprenticeship programme.

The apprenticeship scheme has already led to 150 opportunities created while the council’s ‘Work Path’ programme has helped 2,600 people into training and employment since its launch a year ago.

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