FROM PARENTS' GUIDE: AN INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING MAGAZINE

Vocational education: the start of a successful career

Apprenticeships shouldn't feel like the poor relation in the job market, says Stephen Gardner

The exam results period is a stressful time for young people and parents alike. It can be difficult for parents to get impartial advice on the number of options available to young people today.

Perhaps not surprisingly, recent research by the Learning and Skills Council reveals that parents get more stressed than their children during the exam results period. Of over 2,000 people surveyed, a whopping 80 per cent of parents believe it will be harder for their children to find gainful employment than it was for them. In stark contrast, over two-thirds (68 per cent) of young people are optimistic about their career.

This contrast in confidence could be attributed to many things, not least an outdated opinion of modern educational routes. For example, if your child is looking for a challenging and rewarding career that pairs real-life work experience with a bank of transferable skills and qualifications, would an Apprenticeship spring to mind?

Vocational education has come a long way from the days of chimney sweeps and tailors. There are over 200 different types of Apprenticeships available today, in more than 80 sectors. Young people can opt for careers in business administration, media studies, engineering, event management, hospitality and manufacturing to name but a few. At present, there are over 270,000 young apprentices in England, working in over 130,000 businesses, and every one of them is working towards a more employable future.

An Apprenticeship marks the start of a successful career for young people aged 16 to 24, giving them work experience with on- and off-the-job training and, maybe most importantly, they will be earning a wage.

An Apprenticeship offers structured training with an employer and training provider, where learning is constantly monitored and performance checked. As well as a nationally recognised qualification, an Apprenticeship provides valuable work experience in the company your child will progress into. More and more apprentices now go on to do a degree following completion of their training, and the cost is often picked up by their employer - a testament to how highly employers value their apprentices.

According to a survey carried out by the LSC, 27 per cent of employers said Apprenticeships were the ideal qualification for potential employees, rating this form of vocational training higher than any other qualification. In fact, some of the biggest names in business offer Apprenticeships, including BT, Vodafone, British Gas, Orange and Bentley Motors.

Perhaps the best way to sum up the benefits of Apprenticeships to young people is through the words of apprentices themselves.

Matthew McCarry, an engineering apprentice from Cumbria, says: "My Apprenticeship has given me a lot more confidence and made me more determined. It's a great programme. I would definitely recommend it."

Stephen Gardner is the director of Apprenticeships at the Learning and Skills Council. If you are interested in finding out more about what Apprenticeship would be right for your child, please visit www.apprenticeships.org.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Recruitment Genius: Graduate / Trainee Sales Executive

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate/Trainee Sales Executive is re...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Graphic Designer - Peterborough - £18,000

£22000 - £23000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Graduate Graphic Designer...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Developer - Cambridgeshire - £23,000

£22000 - £23000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Graduate Front-End Develo...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Application Support Analyst

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor