Apprenticeships are currently a buzz word amongst politicians but young people in schools are not getting access to the information they need to know, when they need to know it. Apprenticeships are still often thought about as a backup plan rather than a valid first option.
At the Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network (GMLPN), we’ve been running the Apprenticeship Ambassador Programme for just over a year. So far we’ve reached in excess of 2,000 young people at schools and colleges across Greater Manchester and every time we speak to a group of young people and their teachers we get such a positive response. People want to know more about their options and once we’ve been somewhere once, we almost always get invited back. Apprenticeship Ambassadors are able to talk on a peer to peer basis, which for a young person, is so much more powerful than listening to another adult talk at them; 89% of schools have given top marks for ambassador engagement with the audience.
In a recent survey by City & Guilds of 3,500 parents, 66% thought they should help to give advice to their children on their education and careers. With this in mind, 50% don’t think they have enough experience to do so and 46% don’t know enough about different careers to offer correct advice.1 This academic year, we are trying to get our Ambassadors out to parents, to give them information about Apprenticeships to better inform their children about the options that are available to them after school. So far we’ve had Ambassadors deliver talks to large groups of parents, attend parents’ evenings and even approach them at careers events.
Our Ambassadors are changing parents’ perceptions of Apprenticeships: being presented to by a mature 18 year old who is creating a successful career path for themselves, living on their own and earning while gaining a qualification. Or a 21 year old who is studying for a part-time degree at university that is being paid for by their employer who also pays their wage. Nor were parents expecting the variety of Apprenticeships that we’re able to show them through our Ambassadors; from social media to construction and engineering to child care, with more becoming available every month there really is something for the majority of young people.
In November alone, almost a quarter of our events are aimed specifically at parents with other events open to them, which is a new record. The positive impact we’re having is great: we’re slowly changing old-fashioned judgments and making Apprenticeships an equal choice. In order to get the most out of this, we need more apprentices that want to become Ambassadors and commit to one event a month in order to change views and share their own success stories.
For more information, just get in touch: email@example.com @apprenticeambas