By the time many young people have come to the end of their compulsory schooling at age 16, they have often had enough of the education system and don’t like the idea taking on a huge student loan for a university degree they may or may not use in the future. Hopefully, after such a positive build up to the last election, the Government now recognises the value of apprenticeships to young school leavers looking to earn while they learn.
Apprenticeships should be encouraged because they offer a person at the beginning of their career a demonstrable set of skills that they know they can use to earn money for the next 30 - 40 years. For those who have not thrived in the academic system, but who are of a much more practical persuasion, apprenticeships provide a very tempting alternative to the well-trodden path of debt-ridden university degrees.
Working alongside and older professional with a vast amount of experience, not only gets the young apprentice great first-hand knowledge of the practicalities of the job, but also opens their eyes to the associated benefits such as running your own business, keeping a budget, being responsible for employees and managing projects. This is invaluable knowledge, helping an apprentice to see that pluses of hard work and learning a trade, encouraging their entrepreneurial instincts and helping to ensure that the next generation of plumbers and heating engineers has the necessary skills to meet the public’s demand.
One of the traditional complaints of established employers taking on apprenticeships is the high level of poor quality candidates in terms of inability to learn or not showing up at all. However, in order to combat this, there are many traineeships that offer a programme of various different skill-building modules that young people have to complete before even being put forward as an apprentice.
These young people also have to go through an online application process that quickly establishes whether they are right or not for the career that lies ahead. This kind of screening process should really encourage employers to take a chance on apprenticeships who have gone through these programmes because, by completing the, they have shown that they are serious and really want to be there.
Hopefully the Government will continue with pre-Election pledges to increase the amount of apprenticeships in the UK and increase their attractiveness to employers in the building and heating industry. As well as ministers getting together and pushing for change, responsibility also lies with employers taking a chance on youngsters and recognising that the UK will benefit in the long term from them passing on their wisdom to the next generation.
Article by Benjamin Clarke
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