Nurturing Talent: The Rise of the Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships have gotten a bad rap compared to University Degrees with only 46% of British parents saying that they would want their children to take vocational training over an academic degree.  However, the perception of apprenticeships have improved in the last year, with two thirds of parents in a recent survey saying that they were pleased that apprenticeships are now being presented as an alternative option for young people. With the declining rates of Graduate employment, apprenticeships are being viewed as a viable option for those who don’t want to go to University or view it as a slower path to achieving their goals.

Investment in the Future

Praise for apprenticeships is coming from all sides and the Government has been pushing for developing more apprenticeship schemes by subsiding companies for the costs. The reform of apprenticeships has an annual budget of £1.5bn and there are currently 860,000 undergoing apprenticeships at the moment. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg recently called for change of public opinion when it came to apprenticeships “We need to get beyond this rather fusty, old-fashioned view that the only good thing for a young person to do after school or a college education is to take an academic qualification.”

He continued “There are lots of really, really bright youngsters who will provide the economic backbone of this country for decades to come who just don’t want to have their nose stuck in a book for three years.”

“They are people who actually want to get their hands dirty, literally and metaphorically. They want to learn while they earn.”

Even Clegg’s opposition Labour leader Ed Miliband praised the use of apprentices and talked about Labours controversial policy that would force firms to employ an apprentice for every employee they hired from outside the European Union. He commented, “We are with companies today who are prepared to invest in training. We need more companies like that, so we can nurture talent as a country.”

Opportunities

Apprenticeships provide the country with a much needed technical skills boost as many have commented on the countries vital skills gap with too much focus on everyone gaining a purely academic qualification. City and Guilds apprenticeships offer lots of different routes to work in different industries, and the government has invested £25m in a Higher Apprenticeship Fund which has aimed to create 20,000 higher apprenticeships by 2015. Higher apprenticeships are the equivalent of university degrees and can provide a vital start for young people looking to get into a high powered industry.

Apprenticeships are becoming level with university degrees, with the support from the government and more young people seeing it as viable and possibly less complicated and expensive option for their future career paths.

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