Oxfordshire is reaping the benefits of its ongoing efforts to make apprenticeships more attractive to young people. According to the Oxford Mail, more applicants are matched with employers in Oxfordshire than in any other region of the south east.
Through the joint efforts of Oxfordshire County Council and the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), school leavers and young people considering a career change are getting access to information about apprenticeships. The partners are also organising various events for employers, paying particular attention to bolstering their ties with schools. The latter adds to efforts aimed at addressing youth unemployment and the skills gap issue.
NAS account manager for Oxfordshire Steve Nicolson said that the events targeting employers were helping to dispel various myths about apprenticeships, while seminars and workshops designed for young people were slowly but surely raising the profile of vocational training among potential apprentices. The NAS and county leaders are also very keen to find ways of promoting further engagement between employers and schools, Nicolson added.
According to the latest NAS data, online apprenticeship applications in Oxfordshire rose from 4,000 to 4,590 over the past year, which amounts to an increase of 15%. At the same time, vacancies posted online jumped by 42%, meaning that their number went from 850 to 1,204. While eight applicants are vying for every vacancy across the south east, the figure for Oxfordshire is just over three. Among the most popular sectors for apprenticeships are business administration, law, engineering, arts, media and publishing.