It’s ‘apprenticeship week’ this week so you’ll hear a lot from me about the work I’ve been doing to promote apprenticeships and make the transition young people have to make from education into work a much better one.

I recently visited the Martello Loft development in Portland Road. It used to be an HMRC building and now local developer Tasker Catchpole is converting it into much needed homes.

I spent ages talking to two of their apprentices, Sam and Karl. Both we so enthusiastic about their work and the learning they are achieving every day as apprentices. That learning is both skills-based in their work as carpenters, and also academic because every apprenticeship has to include maths and English learning these days as well as other academic development.

Both Sam and Karl had other opportunities after leaving secondary school. They could have gone to Uni, for example, but they chose apprenticeships because it gave them more variety, more practical skills development, plus a recognised qualifications on a par with ‘A’ Levels and degrees. In this case the apprenticeships are managed through a partnership with CITB which provide really rich and challenging opportunities for young people looking for alternatives to Uni.

I learned a lot from this visit. The enthusiasm and enjoyment that Sam and Karl had for their work and learning was so infectious it really made my day. If you have a view or experience of apprenticeships please let me know because I’m keen to hear from you. All the best, Peter

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