A joint venture between a Kirkcaldy employer and Fife Council has resulted in the Kingdom’s only apprentice florist.
Casey McCallum (17) is midway through a six month stint with Canterbury Bells on Kirkcaldy High Street which was organised with the help of the council’s modern apprenticeship scheme.
The ex-Viewforth High pupil said it all started when she spotted a leaflet while still at school.
“I spoke to careers advisers at school because I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to do something artistic,” she said.
“Then I saw a leaflet about becoming a florist through Fife Council’s Modern Apprenticeship scheme so I called up about it.
Casey met with Katherine MacKinnon, graduate aide at Fife Council, who introduced her to Catherine Young, owner of Canterbury Bells, who said: “We needed another qualified florist and they are very hard to find. We had advertised but nothing came up, so we thought then we could maybe take on an apprentice.
“Katherine came out and introduced Casey to me, so she came and worked for a few weeks voluntarily, just to see if she liked it, because it’s not what you think it is. It’s cold, it’s hard, it’s dirty so she needed to see what she was letting herself in for!”
Fife Council is paying half of Casey’s wages for the duration of her six month stay and so far she has fitted in well.
Catherine said: “She gets on great with the customers, her customer skills are excellent considering her age,
“She’s been through the three peak periods with us as well; Christmas, Valentine’s and Mother’s Day, so if you can get through that you’re doing fine!
“I’d love to be able to afford to keep her on, but if we can’t then she’s going to be equipped to move on to another florists and she’ll have a job for life.”
Casey said: “I’m enjoying it and I’d like to carry on.”