Hordes of aspiring apprentices and their parents flocked to Trafford College on Thursday 9 March, for an inspirational event to mark the tenth anniversary of National Apprenticeship Week 2017.
The College welcomed hundreds of visitors to its Altrincham campus for the event, which was designed to give aspiring apprentices and their parents a unique insight into the ever popular programme through the eyes of some of the borough’s leading employers, current apprentices and the College’s dedicated apprenticeship team.
A recent survey has shown that apprenticeships are now becoming more popular among parents, with over half believing that university isn’t necessarily the best route to a successful career. However, not every perception was quite so positive. Just under half of parents believed apprenticeship opportunities are often in low-skilled, low-paid professions while over two-thirds of parents believed apprenticeship roles are poorly paid.*
“A lot of parents and teachers don’t understand that pretty much everything from law to web developing can be accessed through a modern apprenticeship,” says Nick Boles, minister of state for skills and equalities.
Trafford College has been working closely with the parents of current and prospective students to help them understand apprenticeships better, as well as undertaking extensive research to get the full picture of how well informed parents are about their children’s options.
Visitors at the event were given the opportunity to hear first-hand from both employers and apprentices about their apprenticeship experiences and successes. They were also able to register for early notification of future apprenticeship vacancies as they arise.
In attendance at the event was parent Victoria Morrison and her son Matthew Stant (15). Having undertaken on-the-job training herself years ago, Victoria became aware of modern apprenticeship programmes when considering study options for Matthew and began to look into the various possibilities for paths to Engineering and Architecture.
She said, “Both Matthew and I love the concept of apprenticeships and the ability to learn while gaining hands on experience. I’m very aware of the benefits, but I’m not sure that as many young people in schools are, or their parents. More could be done to educate students on their options to help them understand they don’t have to do A Levels or necessarily go to university, and that your apprenticeship can help you access these routes too.”
Matthew agrees, “Hardly any of my friends have considered apprenticeships. They all want to go to College or onto A Levels.”
Victoria added, “We’re here tonight to speak directly with employers and meet the Trafford First team. As College’s go, Trafford has been the best in helping to look for apprenticeship vacancies with employers and has given us so much advice. We’ve been to other places, but they’re just not as helpful.”
* Survey undertaken by Prudential