Apprenticeship week: Let’s stop failing thousands of youngsters
We live in a time where youngsters face the toughest job market in a generation, with 22.3 per cent of 16-24 year-olds currently out of work.
I believe young people have enormous potential, but too many of them are leaving school ill-prepared for success or even survival in the current economic climate. We need to equip them with the skills and confidence to better prepare them for the future. We need to encourage more young people to dream, and to dream big. It’s about inspiring them to turn their ambitions into reality.
Despite record levels of youth unemployment, there remain thousands of vacancies in fast-growing digital economy firms and within industries including engineering and manufacturing. But given the fact that over one million young people are out of work, it’s clear that Britain is not producing a workforce with either the relevant or sufficient skill-set to fill these vacancies. In short, we have a widening skills gap.
We are failing the thousands of youngsters that leave school every year without the necessary skills to equip them for the world of work. This is a real problem, but one for which, I believe, there is also a real solution.
Apprenticeships are a key route to preparing today’s young people for a successful future. Schemes that encourage learning on the job raise the employment prospects of young people by arming them with valuable business experience and vocational skills.
This is why events such as National Apprenticeship Week, which starts today, are so important. This week, thousands of young people and business owners across Britain will come together to highlight the importance of workplace training initiatives and to encourage more people to consider this path to employment.
Through apprenticeships we can instill greater confidence in our young people and empower them to live their dreams. We need an ambitious generation of young people who have self-belief, drive and a winning mentality to get Britain back on the road to recovery.
Work-based training programmes provide much-needed jobs for young people, giving them hands-on experience in a real business environment. I believe that by skilling up our young people we are also opening the door for them to consider starting their own venture, which could result in them taking on employees of their own.
At the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy we have launched a Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Enterprise, which is the first of its kind in the UK. The first delivery of this Apprenticeship is taking place in the North West and will be rolled out across the country over the coming months.
For most of the course students work within a functioning business, where they gain hands-on experience, while spending one day a week learning in the classroom and benefiting from one-to-one training sessions and group discussions. Apprentices will learn crucial business skills from decision taking and leadership to financial forecasting and marketing.
These skills are pivotal to the development of an entrepreneurial mindset and the hands-on experience builds self-belief and confidence. I believe apprenticeships will enable young people to unleash their entrepreneurial spirit and provide them with the know-how to not only survive in this economic climate but also to succeed.
All that leaves us to do is to encourage more young people to consider an apprenticeship to kick-start their career. We need to show that these training schemes can help to instill in them a winning mentality so that they have the confidence to live out their dreams.
Through Enterprise Apprenticeships we can build a brighter future for young people and through them we can produce a skilled and more productive workforce, that will in turn drive economic growth.Tagged in: apprenticeships, Dragon's Den, Peter Jones, unemployment, work
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