As school leavers across the country ponder their next move after receiving their GCSE results, one career path that is proving ever more popular is that of apprenticeships.
Long gone are the days when apprenticeships concentrated predominantly on trades such as brick laying, decorating and motor mechanics.
In 2016 the range of apprenticeships available to young people is only limited by their ambition and embraces career paths from white collar and blue collar jobs .
The level of tutorship available has also evolved over the years and apprenticeships are no longer the poor relation of more traditional higher education but can offer training and education equivalent to a university degree.
Last weekend Maverish Ltd, a Banbury-based careers advisory company, in conjunction with Oxfordshire Apprenticeships, set up an ApprenticeSHOP in Castle Quay shopping centre to offer advice. Run by husband and wife team Michelle and Paddy Patterson, the three-day workshop saw a steady flow of youngsters eager for more information on apprenticeships.
Mr Patterson said: “Obviously the purpose here is to help young people and parents of those getting GCSE results. Some are getting good results and just want to check they’ve made the right decisions. Some are saying ‘I haven’t quite got there and I might need to rethink my plans.”
Apprenticeships are open to anyone and are a great way to get both the training in a particular area and also bring home a little pocket money.
The routes to an apprenticeship are varied but are similar to those into a regular job.
Mr Patterson explains: “It’s pretty much like any other part of the recruitment market. You could have an employer who has someone ready and they want to train up. An employer may go to a training provider and say ‘I want an apprentice’ and they’ll find one or a training provider may approach an employer and they will look for a suitable candidate.”
For information on apprenticeships in the area in careers as diverse as advertising and marketing, ceramics making or sound engineering visit http://www.oxfordshireapprenticeships.co.uk/