APPRENTICES and companies helping apprentices set out on their careers found themselves in the spotlight last week.
The top team were being filmed in preparation for a showcase awards ceremony during National Apprenticeship Week at the beginning of March.
The ceremony is being hosted by Stafford College, which helps bring businesses together with people seeking an apprenticeship.
The College offers apprenticeships in 15 areas and saw success rates rise to 82 per cent last year with one of the highest year-on-year improvements seen in the sector. In recent days the College has been providing some valuable experience for its full-time students, who have been recording and editing short films of the award-winners. The films will be given their preview during the ceremony, hosted by Claire Young, a former finalist of The Apprentice.
“We can’t reveal any of the winners before the ceremony but some very well-known names in the local business community have been seen making their way to our media studio during recent days,” said Vice Principal Anne Piercy.
The employers and their ambitious apprentices will be celebrated on the evening of March 4. The event is part of National Apprenticeship Week, a countrywide drive to highlight the success of an increasingly popular and highly respected form of training.
“I considered going to university but I didn’t want to take on the debt, with no realistic prospect of a job at the end of my course,” one of the young winners told the camera crew. “Now, I’m nearing the end of my apprenticeship and have been paid while I learn. I’ve got masses of experience and will have a well-paid, rewarding job with great prospects. I definitely made the right choice!”
That apprentice is one of many who travel from different parts of England and Wales to attend specialist courses at Stafford College, delivered as part of their apprenticeships.
“What we are hearing from school-leavers and from their parents, is that they really value the opportunities that an apprenticeship provides. It is a fantastic preparation for career success and there is a huge amount of competition for apprenticeships with good local firms,” explained Anne Piercy. “Employers tell us that these people represent the future of their business. In taking on and supporting an apprentice, they are investing not just in that individual but in continued growth and profitability.”
Young people and businesses wishing to learn more about apprenticeships can do so at an Open Evening at Stafford College, from 5.30– 8pm on March 11.