Jane Dougal, Sky reporter
The number of people starting apprenticeships has grown by 16% in one year as school leavers faced with the prospect of university fees trebling are look for alternative routes to a career.
Robyn Keating left Brighton University after just one year, deciding an apprenticeship at an insurance company would be a faster way to get a job.
“I’ve got no doubts in my mind that it was the right decision to leave Brighton,” she said.
“I took my career in my own hands because I think I would still be there now and I wouldn’t be earning my own money.”
There are currently almost half a million apprentices working in England and the success rate is high with almost 75% of apprenticeships resulting in a job.
Some of the programmes target disadvantaged young people like Galvin’s Chance.
Based in London, it runs hospitality apprenticeships helping people like Kamal Manhas.
She fell in with a bad crowd at school and even spent time in prison.
They gave me all the skills and knowledge I needed to know about the hospitality industry and then I came to this restaurant, did a two week trial shift and from then I started working.
“They gave me all the skills and knowledge I needed to know about the hospitality industry and then I came to this restaurant, did a two week trial shift and from then I started working.
“There’s no more reward than giving that one person an opportunity to change their life and you see how they blossom. You won’t have words to describe how you feel. To see someone come from so bad to so good and be the next general manager, the next owner of a brand new restaurant… or even a chef. It’s really rewarding.”
Galvin’s Chance creator Chris Galvin said: “I think a lot of companies have created their own schemes. Other countries like Germany have them as standard, I believe we’re just as good if not better than them. What we’ve got to do is focus that training and make it available to all.”
Hear the word “apprentice” and you may immediately picture Lord Alan Sugar shouting “you’re fired”, but more and more people are finding that becoming an apprentice is actually the best way to get hired.