This week is National Apprenticeships Week. To mark the occasion, local MP, Anne Main, was invited to speak at a breakfast event in Oaklands College, organised by the St Albans Chamber of Commerce.
Anne said, ‘I agree with the Chamber when they say there has never been a better time to employ an apprentice. There has been a huge increase in apprenticeships since 2010: in St Albans, there were 1800 new starts, up to July 2014.
‘Today was the perfect opportunity for local businesses and teachers to share their experiences and discuss the financial benefits of hiring and training young people as an apprentice.
‘It was good to hear directly from an apprentice, and the knowledge she gained from the scheme. It’s great to see young people taking these opportunities and receiving the on-the-job training that will equip them with the skills they need for the future.
‘Often an apprenticeship can be a better option for a young person to gain the knowledge and qualifications needed in their chosen field, and it’s up to our schools and local businesses to help our youngsters make that choice. This applies to both school leavers, and pupils yet to finish their education.
‘More, however, can always be done to improve the method of communication, and how young people themselves access the information they need to choose what’s best for them. Websites such as the Government’s apprenticeships vacancy matching service can provide a useful tool for both employers and young people looking to make the most of these schemes.’