As part of National Apprenticeship Week local businesses as well as people are being encouraged to look out for opportunities in their area.
During the week Dorset County Council has set up a range of events to promote apprenticeships amongst employees and employers.
Gordon Page, Chair of the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Apprentices can make businesses more competitive and provide them with the skilled workers that they need for the future.”
Lisa Rogers, who is 21 and currently applying for an apprenticeship in the management sector, thinks council support is good for promoting local businesses and employing young people.
She said: “I’m not a big fan of uni and school work, so for me apprenticeship is the best, if not the only way to get into the job market. I think a lot of young people feel the pressure of getting a job.”
Mandy Payne, Vice President of Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce said: “The chamber totally supports apprenticeships and we work closely with a lot of local businesses to expose the opportunities out there.”
Without any official numbers available, Mrs Payne was reluctant to give any formal answer to the increase or decrease in the number of apprenticeships available, however she said: “I know the economy may stop a few employers to take someone on for an apprenticeship at the moment.”
The Centre for Economics and Business Research published a report yesterday on the impact of apprenticeships on the UK economy and showed that an estimated 3.8 million people will complete an apprenticeship between 2012-13 and 2021-2022. The study also found that this will most likely contribute £3.5billion to the UK economy per year in productivity gains by 2022.
While the support for apprenticeships appears strong, a newly published survey from the Training Journal showed that “only one in ten parents rank apprenticeships as their preferred qualification for their children, while nearly half would choose a university degree.”
Mum of two Lynda Hayes, 53, said she preferred her children to get a university degree. She said: “I think there’s too many people looking for a job at the moment, and in the end the competition will be to though for those without a decent degree,” she said.
Main image: Stuck in Customs