Olympic hero Ed McKeever gave a golden seal of approval to the launch of Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions’ new apprenticeship scheme in Trowbridge.

The kayaker, who won gold in the K1 200m at the 2012 Games, met six new apprentices, who have started on the two-year scheme, at Wednesday’s event.

Apprentices will learn business skills from the company’s departments and will also gain experience in its car fleet division in Newbury.

The Olympic champion said: “I am very honoured to be a part of the launch of Hitachi Capital’s apprenticeship scheme, setting six apprentices on their new career path.

“University is no longer the only option for young people who are eager to achieve and an opportunity like this scheme is a great way to open the doors to a successful future career.”

Once the apprentices have completed the course, they will earn a NVQ level three qualification.

Steve Pinchen, the firm’s sales graduate scheme manager, said: “Hitachi Capital is going through a period of development and growth and we feel this is the perfect time to offer this opportunity to Trowbridge’s local talent.”

For more details of the apprenticeship scheme call 01225 777710.