From apprentice to CEO: award-winning Rochdale employer shares success story

Date published: 22 April 2021

An award-winning Rochdale employer has shared his success story of going from a 15-year-old apprentice to CEO of his own firm.

Tony L. Rollins, Group Chief Executive Officer of Atlantic & Pacific Insurance Group & Rollins Group Companies, started at West Pennine Insurance in Littleborough as a 15-year-old apprentice with Rochdale Borough Training.

Twenty-three years later, he returned to buy the same business.

Mr Rollins said: “Vocational workplace learning is hands on and can be challenging at times as it’s a real working environment, but apprentice opportunities are for all ages. I am now proud to welcome other apprentices who want to learn new skills, be mentored by industry experts, get paid and be part of our team.

“If I can pass on one piece of advice for anyone starting a career today, it would be don’t take no for an answer. People attempted to hold me back because of my age, and by the age of 25 I had become a director.

“We can all succeed if we believe in ourselves and don’t allow self-doubt to stop you moving forward.”

Atlantic & Pacific Insurance Group & Rollins Group Companies’ Littleborough office on Church Street is currently looking to hire two apprentices.

Mark Whittaker, Skills Advisor of Rochdale Training, said: “Rochdale Training look after apprentices across Rochdale and Greater Manchester. There are currently employer incentives available for up to £5,000. 

“Call 01706 631 417 or email for more information.”

Mr Rollins added: “I would highly recommend to employers to take the challenge and build a young person into the business.

“With several government incentives available, it works for us and is likely to work for you.”

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