Apprentice: Floristry

Joanne Haynes trained as a florist at Plumpton College in East Sussex. Only a few years after qualifying, she bought the floristry business where she had done her apprenticeship.

Apprentice: Furniture manufacture

Craig Peacey, 18, is studying a level three NVQ in wood machining at Webs Training College in Nottingham. He is one of four apprentices in a firm of door manufacturers.

Apprentice: Emergency fire service operations

Dean Stocking is 19. When he left school, he trained in light vehicle mechanics, but he is now studying for a three-year NVQ in HGV engineering as an apprentice with Essex County Fire Service. The service is one of five in the country to have signed up to a “blue-light scheme” to address skills shortages.

A galaxy of opportunities

Samantha Godsalve, 20, a former music student is now in her second year of an apprenticeship with an aerospace company, and she is loving it.