The beginning of the month marked National Apprenticeship Week in the UK, a drive to make both businesses and young people aware of the mutual benefits apprentice programmes can bring. As a business, Reconnix has benefitted greatly from apprenticeships programmes, and we’ve helped to build careers for a number of young people over recent years.
While university is obviously a great opportunity for many, there is perhaps now too much pressure to drive everyone towards third level education as soon as they finish their A Levels. Employers can be guilty of overlooking candidates without third level qualifications, a degree isn’t the be all and end all.
There are many reasons why university might not be a suitable option for a school leaver. Not everyone is academically focused, some have a more practical mindset. For others it is out of their reach financially – for all the progress made in the UK in terms of access to education, fees remain a barrier to many.
Apprenticeships provide an opportunity for young people to develop while in paid employment. Getting to grips with practical skills on the job is perhaps one of the best ways to learn, and it can be rewarding for both the apprentice and employer alike.
We hired our first apprentice at Reconnix six years ago and he is now our Operations Manager – a highly respected and core member of our team. This encouraged us to take on more, and the two apprentices with us now are currently showing great promise and are in the process of becoming great technicians – already proving great value to the team.
We would encourage all businesses to take on apprentices, and help remove the stigma around not going to university. UK PLC is missing a huge raft of talent out there – all that is needed is to give them a chance. So if you can, open that position now, there is nothing more rewarding than helping someone out at the start of their career and watching them develop into an invaluable asset to your business.