Apprenticeship applications up in Gloucestershire
APPRENTICESHIP applications in Gloucestershire have risen by 30 per cent this year.
And apprenticeship vacancies were up by 62 per cent this year compared to last, suggesting more employers are placing greater emphasis on learning on the job.
New data released by the National Apprenticeship Service revealed that in the past 12 months the number of people applying for an apprenticeship in the county has risen to 9,700 this year from 7,300 in the previous 12 months.
Kellie Nicholls is a partner at Peter Hickman Hairdressing, in Gloucester. The company, which also has branches in Tewkesbury, Stroud, Dursley and Ross-on-Wye, takes in between eight and 12 apprentices every year.
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Kellie said: "I can't speak highly enough of apprenticeships. I think they are fantastic, there is no substitute for the knowledge you gain when working on the job.
"You can go to college or university but you won't learn what you learn by going into work every day of the week."
Apprentices stay at the hairdressers for three years before getting fully qualified.
"Pretty much all of them stay on for the three years," added Kellie, who joined as an apprentice herself 22 years ago.
"In fact, we invest more money into their training than we do into their wages, that is how much we value apprentices. I think all young people should consider doing an apprenticeship."
With each online vacancy now attracting an average of eight applications, the government is urging more employers to consider how hiring an apprentice could benefit their business.
Matthew Hancock MP, skills minister, said: "We want to see it become the norm that young people either go to university or into an apprenticeship. To match the growing popularity of apprenticeships, I would urge more employers to consider how hiring an apprentice could benefit their business.
"Research out last week showed that more than 70 per cent of employers say apprentices boosted their service or product – this is testament to the benefits of apprenticeships for both young people and the wider economy."
Mark Owen of Moose Marketing has recently hired his first apprentice and she will be starting on Monday.
He said: "I have always believed that not everyone can go to university, it simply isn't right for everyone. I left school at 16 with a few O-levels and I feel it has never held me back. Everyone can make something of themselves.
"I have had Beau Thompson working unpaid for a month as an intern and from Monday she will start her apprenticeship."