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National Apprentice Week, which started today, is designed to highlight the positive impact apprentices can have on individuals, on business and on the economy.
This is a fact not lost on Rio Ferdinand, who still remembers his early days as an apprentice at West Ham.
"Cleaning boots, cleaning the shower, cleaning the first team changing rooms, and getting a grilling from the senior players if you didn't clean the boots properly....
"It gives you a good grounding and it's a good place to start so you appreciate things a bit more when you do well and enjoy your career."
Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand has been getting behind National Apprenticeship Week - which started today.
Manchester College has pledged to place 50 local young people into jobs in five days.
The first apprentice to take up a job is 18-year-old Rhys Owen, who is starting as a chef in Ferdinand's restaurant in Manchester Rosso.
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As part of National Apprentice Week, North West business leaders have revealed what advice they would give to their 17-year-old selves.