YEP Says, February 26: Time for schools to stress the true value of apprenticeships

Apprenticeships offer a vital route into work.
Apprenticeships offer a vital route into work.
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Enormous potential of apprenticeships to fuel economic recovery and help unemployed youngsters.

THE Yorkshire Evening Post has been vocal in its calls for more businesses and organisations to take on apprentices.

Now the campaign is receiving heavyweight royal backing in the shape of Prince Andrew, who will be coming to the city next week to attend the annual Leeds Apprenticeship Awards and encourage more small firms to embrace such schemes.

The high profile he will bring to this issue is important. Young people who take apprenticeships are more likely to stay in work and for every £1 spent on developing an apprentice, £18 is invested back into the economy.

The potential of apprenticeships to stoke the UK’s economic recovery and help nearly a million unemployed young people is enormous. And yet their value is often being undersold, or failing to be grasped, by schools, employers and young people themselves.

Schools must do better when it comes to “selling” apprenticeships to young people as a viable route to long and successful careers, at the same time building closer links with local businesses.

A big barrier is the fact that schools’ success is measured by the number of students who leave to go on to university – not the number who go on to vocational training courses.

If apprenticeships are to be seen as a good option, that needs to change.

An out of this world response for Lucas

WHEN SPACE-MAD Lucas Whiteley sent a few questions to NASA with the help of his dad, they probably didn’t expect to get a detailed response from one of their engineers.

But not only did space boffin Ted Garbeff answer all their queries, he even gave them a guided tour of his workplace in California.

The video was a huge hit with Lucas’s classmates and has fuelled his interest in space travel.

Given that he’s only four, it’s intriguing to wonder what kind of world Lucas will grow up to see.

Who knows, maybe one day his space odyssey will see him reach for the stars too.

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