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Learning the trade

23 February 2018

Careers advisers inspire young people and adults by helping them understand the careers, training and other opportunities available. To help Somerset residents, the National Careers Service is working with Somerset County Council and held a day at Cannington Court, EDF Energy’s base, enabling more than 20 careers advisers to hear from industry experts, have a tour around Hinkley Point C and find out more about the new careers strategy and apprenticeships.

At the event, advisers heard from Jo Skeel, Partnership Manager, at the National Careers Service about apprenticeships and how they are a great option for young people as well as adults. Jasmin Cruickshank, PR Apprentice with Prospects, spoke about her apprenticeship journey, the challenges she’s faced and why she chose the apprenticeship route over university.

Jasmin said: “People often think an apprenticeship is an easy option, but it really isn’t, I’m doing the equivalent of my first year at uni whilst holding down a full time job. A benefit of it is that, I don’t have the debt my friends do, enabling me to save for my first house.”

Jasmin continued: “My apprenticeship has improved my confidence massively, much to my family’s annoyance probably! I’m doing things I wouldn’t dream of doing a year ago, my mental health has improved. I wouldn’t be where I am now without my apprenticeship, I have a clear future ahead of me.”

When asked what they thought was the most challenging part of inspiring and preparing their students for the world of work, the advisers agreed there was a lack of knowledge from the students and their parents and still a lot of stigma around apprenticeships which often puts pupils off. Some advisers were surprised to hear that during 2016/17 there were 491,300 apprenticeship starts in the UK, 121,250 of these were people under the age of 19 and 90% of apprentices continue into full time employment after their apprenticeship.

Julie Young, from Somerset County Council, also gave a talk about the new careers strategy and what governing bodies, school leaders and staff must be providing to young people in education, from years 7 to 13.

Speaking after the event Jo Skeel said: “This was a great opportunity to interact with more than 20 careers leads from Somerset schools, update them on apprenticeships and the local opportunities available. Jasmin was fantastic, speaking from the heart about her school experiences and apprenticeship journey, her presentation created conversation and answered many questions giving attendees the confidence to deliver the information back to their students and colleagues.”


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