Schools urged to promote apprenticeships

Schools in Buckinghamshire are being urged to do as much as possible to encourageyoung adultsto explore the option of taking up an apprenticeship.

“Not everyone is suited to university and becoming an apprentice is a great way into the world of work, but I am not convinced that all pupils are made aware this is a viable option for them at 16,” said Mike Appleyard, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills at Buckinghamshire County Council.

Mr Appleyard, speaking during National Apprenticeship Week, echoed the calls of PM David Cameron for more to be done to explain the benefits of in-work training to youngsters.

He added: “University is, of course, appropriate for a great many students, but what about the others who would prefer to get a start in work as soon as possible?

“I believe all of our schools in this county must really push the concept of an apprenticeship where appropriate. Young adults have to be given as much information as possible to make an informed decision.

“Many of our schools will be doing a good job in this regard but every school in every corner of this county needs to promote this alternative as well as possible.”

During 2014, Buckinghamshire had 2,780 apprentices working in businesses within the county. A total of 13 per cent of Buckinghamshire’s businesses offer formal apprenticeships, with almost a third planning to do so in the future.

Buckinghamshire Adult Learning, which is part of the County Council, is a leading training provider for apprenticeships and is currently helping to train 212 apprentices.

Mike Appleyard continued: “Our aim is to get more small businesses to take on apprentices, sometimes in collaboration with other small businesses. It’s also important to promote the range and breadth of apprenticeships on offer across the county.”

National Apprenticeship Week runs from March 9 to March 13. Buckinghamshire Adult Learning is giving information on how to apply for apprenticeship schemes – and is also showcasing a number of success stories around the county.

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