For thousands of Greater Manchester teenagers, the anxious wait for A Level results is finally over this week.  But regardless of the results, there are still difficult decisions to take about the next steps to that dream career. 

With average student debt on graduation of about £44,000, and the fact that many will still be paying back the loans into their 40s and 50s, more and more college leavers are now looking for an alternative route that will allow them to earn while they get qualified rather than running up debts.

After achieving four A Level passes at Audenshaw School, Jack Hampson weighed up his career options.  Jack, from Denton, could have gone to university, but decided that he wanted to get qualified in the workplace and earn while he was learning.  Jack was looking for an Apprenticeship opportunity in Human Resources and found one at New Charter Group, a large, social landlord looking after 19,500 properties.  Jack applied and was delighted when he learned that he’d been successful.

Jack started as a Human Resources Apprentice at New Charter in Ashton under Lyne in September 2014.  He attends The Skills Company for his off-the-job training in a group of 10 students.  Because he had his A Levels, Jack joined the Level 5 course, whereas most of the group had progressed from a Level 3 course.  Jack said:

“The training is really good.  It’s very interactive, and the content relates very well to what I do at work.  There’s lots of teamwork, and although the others on the course have been working in human resources for longer, I’m well in the swing of it now. “

“I love the diversity of my job, it’s never boring and sometimes very challenging.  We have to be ready to respond to whatever needs doing.  As well as the Apprenticeship, I’m also on a Chartered Institute of Housing course, and when I finish the Apprenticeship, I’d like to go on to get the Level 7 qualification in Human Resource Management.”

“When I was at school, nobody ever told us that there were Apprenticeships in things like Human Resource Management, and I would definitely recommend this route to someone who didn’t want to go to university.”

Jayne Worthington, Managing Director of The Skills Company said: “It’s a difficult time for college leavers and their parents, but the good news is that there are now high quality alternatives to university to those who have completed their A Levels.  The range of Higher and Advanced Apprenticeships has increased hugely in recent years, and they are now available in occupations as diverse as Insurance, Accounting, Social Media, HR and IT, as well as the more traditional Apprenticeship areas such as Construction and Precision Engineering.”

“We currently have well over 250 Apprenticeship vacancies available with companies large and small right across the region, including many household names.  In terms of progression, over 90% of apprentices remain in employment at the end of their training, usually with the same company, whereas a recent survey has shown that 40% of recent graduates were still unemployed six months after graduating.”

“Jack is one of many talented and ambitious young people who have proved that you can get your career off to a debt-free flying start by choosing a high quality Apprenticeship.”

To find out what Apprenticeship opportunities are available, phone 0161 233 2656