Chance to meet the real apprentices

By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 15 February 2013 Updated: 15/02 09:23

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Buy photos » Gaby Lewis, 16, is shown some hair and beauty tips by Warwickshire College student Laura Clarke. Picture by Ian Dipple (s).

YOUNGSTERS had the chance to meet potential employers, colleges and training providers as part of an apprenticeship drive in Redditch.

The Real Apprentice Showcase, run by the National Apprenticeship Service and held at the Abbey Stadium on Wednesday (February 13), saw pupils from the borough's schools attending to find out more about becoming an apprentice.

Carole Farrow, technical academy manager for hair and beauty services at the Henley-in-Arden campus of Warwickshire College, said apprenticeships were the 'way to go' as it enabled students to train on the job.

"We have a forum where we invite employers to tell us what they are looking for and what they want us to train so our students are employable," she said.

"At the end of the day they are going to have to leave the college environment and go out into the world of work and it's preparing them for that."

Frances Lee, employment engagement adviser at Midlands Group Training Services, said they had between 60 and 70 apprenticeships across Redditch and Coventry available each year.

"The situation with degree finances has made people think twice about whether to go to uni and a skills shortage has led to more opportunities for young people.

"It enables them to be employed while they are learning, givens them development options and gives them transferable skills once they have completed the apprenticeship."

Redditch Borough Council recently launched a drive to get companies to create 50 apprentices in 50 days, with more than 20 having already been pledged.

Council leader Bill Hartnett said: "I was absolutely delighted to have 20 sign up at the launch and we have had more companies approach us since then about taking people on."

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