Help reach success with the modern apprenticeship and choose a career choice that pays off
As the late weeks of August provide the youth of today with their hard earned grades, education is a hot topic for the month ahead. But when presented with limited options of this double dip recession, how can this fresh faced generation ensure their next steps are ones into well paid jobs? Chloe Bennett of Trade Skills 4U speaks to industry and government experts to help outline why the modern route to success maybe in the traditional apprenticeship and what can be done to help encourage others to take this worthwhile route.‘Whether you are interested in working in nursing, engineering or for a large company like the BBC, apprenticeships are a sure fire way to equip yourself with the right skills and experience for the job in hand,’ begins Carl Bennett, managing director of Trade Skills 4U www.tradeskills4u.co.uk. ‘As apprenticeship schemes come in all shapes and sizes there is one bound to suit everyone’s needs,’ he continues. Carl Bennett’s comments come at the perfect time as this summer alone has seen apprenticeship vacancies rise to a staggering 15,000. ‘There really has never been a better time to apply for these worthwhile schemes.’
‘Apprenticeships are open to all age groups and work on the basis where an individual gains on the job experience and works towards a nationally recognised qualification in the process. By implementing a blend of practical and theory training, individuals can be assured they are achieving the two vital skill sets that are required for anyone applying for work in the current job market,’ Mr Bennett adds. ‘In addition, although age permitting, funding is available to cover the costs of training and the employer can be offered up to £1,500 for taking you on.’
On his visit to Trade Skills 4U’s training facility near Gatwick, Barry Sheerman, Labour MP for Huddersfield and chair of the Education and Skills Select Committee echoes Mr Bennett’s support for apprenticeships and explains that his goals are clear in bettering education and employment opportunities for the youth of tomorrow. ‘Together we are working for a more sustainable future and this begins with providing impending generations with the right opportunities to progress. I have always been in great support of the apprenticeship and the impact of small businesses and their importance of the future,’ said Mr Sheerman. ‘My own view is that there should be no such thing as unemployment for anyone under 25 years of age. Until 25, everyone should be in education, training, high quality work experience, or a job so at local level it is my job to help encourage every community in every town in every constituency to forge a new partnership of employers, educators, and trainers to tackle the local challenge. The mission is simple; we need more young people to have jobs and companies like Trade Skills 4U have my full support as they are being proactive in this area.’
‘With government help, businesses like ourselves can continue doing what we can to ensure young people are getting the right skills they need to begin fruitful lucrative careers,’ says Mr Bennett.
‘Modern apprenticeships are becoming attractive options for school leavers as recent reports outline that the manufacturing and engineering have enjoyed an increase in take up of more than 70 per cent over the past three years. Figures like this help highlight that we are slowly getting to where we want to be but more needs to be done so that young people realise what great opportunities are on offer through apprenticeships and in our case particularly, how beneficial the electrical sector is,’ adds Mr Bennett.
‘Opportunities are endless in the world of electrics and most people forget that this is an industry that is simply continuing to grow. Wherever you see a socket or a switch, an electrician has been there to install it so a job in this sector can take you places you might not realise. From roles in television and film as ‘gaffers’ and ‘best boy grips’ to designing and installing wiring systems on airplanes, cruise boats and houses the possibilities for a rewarding and varied career are endless,’ he adds.
On the other side of the training, apprentices like Tom Ward, currently on Trade Skills 4U’s City & Guilds 2357 apprenticeship course outlines his experiences with the programme and urges that more needs to be done to encourage and financially support those looking to enter the schemes.
‘I started my apprenticeship knowledge training with Trade Skills 4U in April this year and am really enjoying it. I’m currently working with EDES Ltd in London and have a goal of completing the entire scheme by this time next year.’ When asked about his thoughts on apprenticeship awareness he confirmed, ‘As someone who has always wanted to be an electrician, it seemed the only way to get into the industry. However I wasn’t completely aware of my funding options and the incentives available for employers which would have really helped me in the job seeking process. I’m lucky enough to be in the bracket where my training is fully funded but more could be done to financially support and encourage those who aren’t and come to discover that this career would be suitable for them.’
Apprenticeships, despite having junior connotations, aren’t just for school leavers as ‘a lot of the guys on my course are a lot older than me. We have a 45 year old, 38 year old and 39 year old amongst a range of 20 somethings all taking the course to better themselves and their knowledge in the industry,’ adds Tom. ‘I think it’s just me and one other lad that are able to receive funding and out of a class of 12 that means 10 are funding it from their own back pocket.’
‘Tom makes a great point in addressing support,’ says Carl Bennett. ‘I think if more could be done to help support everyone taking an apprenticeship, irrespective of age, we might find that the national shortage of electricians begins to decrease! Oh and one more thing if I may,’ adds Carl Bennett, ‘We have 15 young people on our waiting list, desperate to get an employer to sponsor them on an apprenticeship. If you’re interested in helping them, get on the phone and give us a call on 01293 529777!’
For further information on apprenticeship courses visit: www.apprenticeships.org
To learn more about Trade Skills 4U’s electrical apprenticeships visit: www.tradeskills4u.co.uk/courses/electrician-apprenticeships-nvq