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The Voice urges young people to consider apprenticeships

APPRENTICESHIPS ARE about giving everyone the chance to reach their potential and across the UK more and more people are recognising their value.

The government’s goal is for 3 million more apprentices by 2020. However their figures reveal that there is a high level of under-representation of young people from the BAME community in apprenticeship programmes.

In the last academic year apprentices from the BAME community represented approximately 6 per cent for the total number of apprentices which is only a slight increase on the previous year.

It is for this reason that the Voice newspaper is pleased to host the Apprenticeship Forum 2016, with the kind support of the National Apprenticeship Service and HSBC.

Paulette Simpson, director of The Voice said: “The Voice is committed to supporting young people in our community and so we have arranged the forum to create awareness and help them to kick start their career by considering an apprenticeship as a real option.

“Places exists in leading companies across the UK and we urge young people and their parents to take up these opportunities.

“We thank HSBC and the National Apprenticeship Service for supporting this initiative and we are confident that this targeted approach will yield benefits for all the participating companies.”

Apprenticeships can deliver work for young people leaving school which will not only give them a chance to earn but can provide an opportunity for them to gain an academic qualification and valuable experience that can assist their career progression.

Numerous employers from across the UK have indicated that they have a real desire to create a diverse workforce and are keen to attract young people for the BAME community.

Apprenticeships are beneficial to both employers and apprentices.

Nine leading UK companies/organisations have demonstrated their commitment by dedicating resources to participate in this forum to inform potential apprentices of the opportunities that exist in their respective organisations and to attract new talent from this pool of untapped young people from the BAME community.

‘Employers think that apprentices are 15% more employable than those with other qualifications’ - * Source: A Guide to Apprenticeships– National Apprenticeship Service



If you live in England and are over 16 you can apply for an apprenticeship. There are various levels of apprenticeship you can undertake depending on your current skills and qualifications:

◆ Intermediate apprenticeship (level 2)
5 GCSE passes at grades A* to C

◆ Advanced apprenticeship (level 3)
2 A level passes

◆ Higher apprenticeship (levels 4-7)
Foundation Degree and above

◆ Degree apprenticeship (levels 6-7)
Batchelor and Master’s Degree

All apprenticeships are real jobs so all apprentices earn a salary. You must be paid at least the national minimum apprenticeship wage – and many employers pay significantly more.

Apprentices should work for at least 30 hours per week and an apprenticeship takes between one and five years* to complete, depending upon the level of apprenticeship and the industry sector.

Most of the training is delivered in the workplace, so you will learn the skills you need to do the job well. The rest of the training is given by a training organisation, either at the workplace, off-site (perhaps at college) or via e-learning.

The training is specifically tailored to ensure you develop the skills the employer wants, giving apprentices a real advantage in the workplace. This means that apprentices not only have better long term salary prospects, but they also have excellent progression opportunities, whether looking to study further or climb the ranks within the workplace.

If you are not quite ready for an apprenticeship, a traineeship might be for you. A traineeship is designed for young people who want to get a job and the skills and experience to boost their career prospects. A traineeship will provide the essential work experience, work preparation training, and English and maths support (if needed) to secure an apprenticeship or other employment.

* Source: A Guide to Apprenticeships – National Apprenticeship Service – for more information visit:

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