Sunday May 13,2012
By Hilary Douglas

YOU don’t have to be Karren Brady to be an apprentice star as thousands of young people across the country are discovering.
A report out tomorrow shows those completing apprenticeships are getting more pay and promotion without the indignities heaped upon some contestants in the TV show The Apprentice, in which ­Karren appears as Lord Sugar’s aide.
For example, a third of all trainees rose up the career ladder as soon as they passed their apprenticeship while three-quarters said they took on more responsibility in their job.
Nearly two-thirds got a pay increase as soon as they qualified, compared with less than a third of existing employees who had not taken that route.
The Department for Business, Innovations and Skills’ survey of 5,000 apprentices found eight out of 10 believe their apprenticeship improved their ability to do their job and left them with much improved career prospects.
Last year 457,200 youngsters were apprenticed, up 63.5 per cent on 2010, providing hope for thousands of youngsters leaving school fearful of not finding a job.
We are succeeding in making apprenticeships a gold standard option
Minister for Apprentices John Hayes s
So far £18.7million from the Higher Apprenticeship Fund is helping to create 19,000 higher-level apprenticeships, with around 250 employers including Leyland Trucks, Burberry, TNT and Unilever participating.
Minister for Apprentices John Hayes said: “I am delighted by these impressive survey results.
“We are succeeding in making apprenticeships a gold standard option.
“We need to tackle the snobbery about vocational education. It is fallacious to assume that academic study is necessarily a better route to success than learning on the job.
“Indeed half of the Rolls-Royce board started their careers as apprentices.”

When Shane Trevitt left school at 16, he completed an access course that allowed him to try a range of trades including painting and decorating, joinery and bricklaying. Now 23, he said it was after being introduced to plumbing that he knew it was for him and he secured an apprenticeship with building services and engineering firm NG Bailey.
“When I left school it was as if you weren’t going to make anything of yourself if you didn’t go to university but I’ve been able to earn as I learned,” he said.
“I own my own home and am working alongside engineers who have the academic background but no idea what happens on a building site.
“I am in a good position in terms of man management as they respect you if you know what you’re doing.
“I am studying for an HND in building services and have taken on a supervisory role. After I’ve completed that, I will go on to a degree in engineering. You do a top-up of a year to get the degree and then I would like to do a ­masters in management.
“None of this would have been possible if I’d gone to university as I just would not have the experience I have now and I’ve been able to do all this with no debt.
“When I left school, the vocational route was unfortunately seen as the last resort but what people don’t understand is that it is not all about working with tools.
“You can do further training while working to achieve high qualifications like a university degree as a more mature person who really works.”

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