Thousands of Greater Manchester’s young people have started sixth form or college courses in the last few weeks, but when they enrolled, many didn’t realise that there is a practical alternative.  Jayne Worthington, Managing Director of The Skills Company, part of the not-for-profit Manchester Growth Company said:

 “Every year, we see young people coming to us who have dropped out of their course because they are not suited to academic study, and they weren’t aware of the vocational options.”

 “Report after report has concluded that careers information in schools doesn’t provide the information that young people need to make informed choices, particularly where Apprenticeships and vocational training are concerned.  There is a real danger of some of these people falling into the NEET group (Not in Education, Employment of Training).”

 “The range of opportunities available through Apprenticeships is now wider than ever, and many of our successful apprentices go on to higher education after their Apprenticeship.  For people who aren’t sure what direction to take, there are also Traineeships where young people can gain work experience and improve their employability skills to prepare them for an Apprenticeship or permanent employment.”

 “We’re also offering a new Future Professionals Pre-Apprenticeship programme aimed at school or college leavers aged 16 to 17 who have a passion for business and marketing and know that their preferred way of learning is on the job.  They can achieve a Level 3 Business qualification, equivalent to two A Levels, and progress onto an Advanced Apprenticeship in just eight months.”

 “With an emphasis on business and marketing, they will also have an option for careers in human resource management and financial services.  All they need is the ambition, and A to C grades in English and Maths.  The programme will include work experience placements with one of our employers, many of whom are household names, and participants will receive a weekly training allowance.”

“So we would encourage anyone who realises that they have chosen an academic option that isn’t right for them to look into the vocational alternatives, because there really is something out there to suit every style of learning.”