From education to employment

Former Salford City College Apprentice becomes the youngest ever Salford councillor

Laura Edwards, who has just completed her Education and Learning Apprenticeship with Salford City College and Gaddum, has been elected as Labour Councillor for Walkden South, making her the youngest ever Salford Councillor, at just 19 years of age.

Laura announced after her win: “What an absolute honour it is to be elected as a Labour Councillor for Walkden South and the youngest ever councillor in Salford.

“I cannot believe we’ve achieved the biggest majority for any party in Walkden South since 2011.

“We had people voting for the first time in their life because we were offering something for the kids on their estate. We had older residents who’ve voted for 50 plus, now years voting Labour for the first time in their life because they’ve seen the work Richard and I do for the area.”

Laura is a passionate young influencer who credits her apprenticeship for helping her decide what she wanted to pursue in life. For her apprenticeships, she worked at The Gaddum Centre, a leading provider of services to disadvantaged people in Greater Manchester. As her apprenticeship ended earlier this year, she was offered a full-time position with the company as a support worker.

She said: “My apprenticeships was an experience that I am so much better for having.

“It has helped to figure out what I wanted to do and made me more sure about my future. I love my job role, and have learnt so much in my apprenticeship. It was such an honour working with Salford’s most inspirational young people as they taught me so much.

“I wanted to use the skills I had gained running events, working with people and standing up for others locally to make a difference to communities.”

And now Laura will have the chance to as Councillor for Walkden South, but, this isn’t her first stint in politics. In 2015, Laura was elected Member of Youth Parliament for Salford. As part of her role she ran youth events, launched a mental health campaign, spoke in the Houses of Parliament and ran a steering group for young people in Salford to get them engaged with politics.

As her role in youth parliament came to an end, she stood to be on the UK Youth Parliament Procedures Group, representing the North West. Laura was the first person ever from Greater Manchester to take this role. As part of this position she was responsible for running the UK Youth Parliament’s Survey in the North West, and the 32% turnout they received remains the highest ever turnout the survey has seen.

If you would like to follow in the footsteps of Laura, one of Greater Manchester’s most inspirational young people, why not check the new Salford City College Apprenticeship Guide, and find your perfect next step.

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