NUT questions Dorset apprenticeship scheme

A Bournemouth teacher’s union representative has criticised council plans for an apprenticeship week.

A Bournemouth teacher’s union representative has criticised council plans for an apprenticeship week.

Between 11-15 March, Dorset county council is staging two events as part of National Apprenticeships Week.

Gordon Page, Chair of the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Being an apprentice is a great option for young people, it allows them to earn a salary while gaining work related qualifications and is the pathway to many exciting opportunities.”

However Bournemouth representative for the National Union of Teachers, David Morgan, said: “What we want is students to be offered proper paid apprenticeships, instead of just giving cheap labour.”

“I think the onus should be on someone in the school encouraging people to find what they’re good at as there are other opportunities and options instead of going on to sixth form,” Mr Morgan added.

As part of ‘Apprenticeships Deliver for Dorset’, events are being held at Merley House in Wimbourne and Kingston Maurward in Dorchester, which will offer young people and parents the chance to learn more from employers and training providers.

Jodi Fair, Head of National Apprenticeship Service South Central, said: “The events will provide an excellent opportunity for young people and employers to come along to see what Apprenticeships offer and take a first step to getting on board.”

The South West regional secretary for the NUT, Andy Wooley however believes the government needs to change its own attitude towards apprenticeships in order for the nation to truly believe in the scheme.

“Michael Gove’s continuing obsession with the classics and formal education will not convince students, parents, carers or employers that vocational training is of the same value as university or college education.

“Apprenticeships are a good route to developing skills that will enhance young people’s opportunities in the work place. They do, however, have to be meaningful, offering proper contracts and at proper wage levels,” said Mr Wooley.

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