Two brothers left school, one went to university and did an engineering degree, the other did an engineering apprenticeship.
The apprentice received a salary during his training and finished with an HNC (which he could upgrade to a diploma with some further study). He was well regarded by his employer. His brother graduated but with student loans and debt and started in the same company at the bottom of the ladder.
Many young people and employers now take apprenticeship seriously and it is gratifying to meet managing directors and senior managers from local businesses who have started in the workshop, either as an intern or as a ‘apprentice.
It is a positive and optimistic message for young people that it is possible to reach the top of the tree if you have enough drive and determination. Local MP James Wild recently stressed the importance of education for young people to help them realize their potential – I would say job opportunities are just as important.
Many businesses in King’s Lynn and West Norfolk have a proud tradition of investing in their people. This makes business sense and is good for individuals as well. Investing in employees often begins with recruiting interns or apprentices – companies help individuals establish themselves in their careers. It also allows companies to bring potential new talent to the business, train and develop them for future roles in the organization.
Apprenticeship statistics for England show a fall in the number of places on offer (down 18% in 2020/21 from 2019/20) and this has been reflected in North West Norfolk 460 places have occupied in 2019/20 compared to 610 in 2018/19. There is no doubt that this reduction is largely due to the pandemic and will resurface as businesses rebound.
National Apprentices Week last week helped to highlight the benefits of apprenticeships for young people and employers and we were delighted to welcome David Pomfret, Principal of the College of West Anglia, to our office in the Department of human capital as he headed back upstairs” joining our fantastic apprentice, Jasmine Bentley, who is currently completing a Level 3 Human Resources (HR) apprenticeship.