Apprenticeships could make ‘financial sense’ for teenagers after A-levels
Young people considering their futures after A-level results could find more profitable careers via apprenticeships, according to the leaders of one of the Midlands’ largest training organisations.
The comments came from spokespeople for training providers the BCTG Group and PTP Training who said that too many young people were heading to university without clear job targets.
Sir Peter Lampl, the founder and chairman of the Sutton Trust, highlighted how graduates were in too many cases gaining skills not wanted by the marketplace, while accumulating “astronomical” levels of debt they could never pay back and that the UK cannot afford.
Rob Colbourne (pictured), managing director of Midlands-based PTP Training, agreed with Sir Peter’s warnings and explained why apprenticeships made more “financial sense”.
PTP Training, trading as Performance Through People, is part of the BCTG Group, which supports the training of almost 10,000 young people and adults each year via ten sites in Birmingham, the Black Country, Staffordshire and Newcastle-under-Lyme.
The group also includes Eurosource Solutions, Further Training and The Apprenticeship Works, as well as the BCTG Construction Skills Centre at Kelvin Way Trading Estate, West Bromwich.
In total, the group offers 166 different types of apprenticeship, 84 different adult upskilling and reskilling courses and 27 pre-apprenticeship programmes for 16 to 18-year-olds.
These include everything from healthcare and early years care to construction, engineering, manufacturing and logistics, through to business skills in IT, management and team leading.
Mr Colbourne said: “There has never been a better time to enrol on an apprenticeship. The brand has considerable credibility with employers, and with the levy payments large employers are now making, it makes absolute financial sense to recruit new staff through this route.
“The government has seen the light with the positive impact apprenticeships have on value for money as is the case in many countries such as America, Switzerland, Australia and Germany, who value an apprenticeship on a par or indeed higher than university in some cases.
“With hundreds of vacancies currently on offer there is a fantastic opportunity for A-level students to earn and learn on an apprenticeship and continue with their lifelong learning journey while in employment.”
Chris Luty, chief executive of BCTG Group, explained it was crucial for A-level students to explore all options in detail.
Mr Luty said: “But leaving the nation’s debt challenges aside for a moment, I would encourage young people to think about their own finances and to work out what might be the most profitable way for themselves to gain well-paid careers.
“This may well be via a university degree, especially if they are considering jobs in medicine, law, finance or other professional services careers.
“But if someone wants a solid career elsewhere, they could consider other areas that are simply crying out for people with the right skills.
“Take construction, where there is an acute shortage of young people willing to train and work in skilled jobs like brick-laying, plastering, painting, plumbing and electrical work.
“The best route into all those jobs is via apprenticeships where they will be earning a salary from day one and will end up in well-paid jobs.
“But the sector is also about design, planning, and increasingly environmental skills, and if a young person starts with what you might call the core trade skills they could then target long-term career progression routes to make the step into management and even more senior jobs.”