Rio Ferdinand backs National Apprentice Week

This week is National Apprenticeship Week. Companies across the North West are being encouraged to take apprentices on. One which has said ''yes'' is the restaurant owned by the Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand.

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Ferdinand reflects on his days as West Ham apprentice

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.

Ferdinand said:

"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."

Rio gets behind 'National Apprentice Week'

Rio Ferdinand at his restaurant in Manchester Credit: Granada Reports

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.

Apprentice chef Rhys Owen on his first day at work at Rosso Credit: Granada Reports