No economy stands a chance of sustainable growth unless it has a steady supply of skilled workers. The importance of apprenticeships for ensuring that supply is profound and widely acknowledged. But there is still some way to go before vocational training is unanimously perceived as a highly attractive and highly regarded opportunity for young people starting their career journey and adults looking to enter a new professional field. The key to achieving that is quality and it should be associated with all apprenticeships, regardless of the company offering them, according to Toni Fazaeli, CEO of the Institute for Learning.
In an article for the Information Daily, Fazaeli says that world-class apprenticeships are characterised by three things. Firstly, they offer training at a very high standard, both on and off the job, and this training is delivered by professionals with level 5 qualifications. Secondly, a top-quality apprenticeship includes excellent maths and English tuition because literacy and numeracy are considered crucial for employability and career progression. Finally, young people will not be attracted to vocational training unless successful apprentices can count on status and definite career prospects.
Fazaeli notes further that the media should do more to give apprenticeships the coverage they deserve. It can hardly be expected of young people to consider apprenticeships as an option when schools and universities dominate the news. Part of the responsibility for spreading the word also lies with school career advisers, who should take every opportunity to inform young people about the variety of careers they can pursue through apprenticeships.
‘Engineering Apprenticeships offer some of the highest quality training and career prospects’ said ATG Training spokesman Stephen Smyth. ‘We have a number of such vacancies available to young people and they can apply online here’.