Lazy shirkers? Young people need to be shown - Business Works
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Lazy shirkers? Young people need to be shown

Rachael Fidler, founder, HTP Training, Southern The vast majority of young people are not lazy shirkers. They may be shy; they may lack confidence and they may appear awkward amongst working adults - but in most cases thatís just because work is different from school and no one has shown them the ropes yet says Rachael Fidler, founder of HTP Training, Southern.

This view is backed-up by recent research which reveals that 54% of young people in the UK would opt to undertake an apprenticeship if one were available to them. This figure increased to 66% among young people who were already employed but received no work-related training, according to statistics published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

traditional routes to work have failed to evolve

Most young people want to make the best of themselves, but have been let down as traditional routes in to work have failed to evolve as the job market has changed. They are not daft. When confronted with the option of long-term university debt and high risk of unemployment, earning and learning takes on a far rosier glow. That glow is not the result of rose-tinted spectacles; itís the glow of potential being given opportunity to flourish and secure a nationally-recognized qualification.

Whether you like it or not, Britain is now a service economy and we, as educators and employers, have to respond to that reality. We place hundreds of apprentices a year; in fact in the last contract year alone we had over 1700 apprentices in training. Approximately 95% of our young apprentices go on to stay as permanent employees in a wide range of service based businesses: leisure, travel, tourism, hospitality, business administration, estate agency, health service - the list of industry sectors our apprentices secure jobs in is as long as my arm.

we need to encourage and applaud youngsters earning and contributing to the economy

We tailor the apprenticesí programmes - the modules they study for and are assessed on - to meet the specific needs of the employer and the youngster, so please donít tell me that this is a worthless paper exercise. I have no time for the mealy-mouthed, naysayers who constantly seek to undermine apprenticeship programmes. These kids work hard. The employers are committed to helping them develop. We need to encourage and applaud the idea of youngsters earning and contributing to the economy - not disparage and undermine them.

Industry has for many years now complained about how ill-equipped young graduates are when they try and enter the world of work. Apprenticeships work. More importantly apprenticeships help young people in to work. Yes, apprentices get paid less than the minimum wage when they start because they have lower skill levels and are, for a period, may need extra support compared to other staff members. However, they are on the first rung of the employment / earning ladder and this is why apprenticeships are increasing in popularity.

Everyone deserves a good education, but that quality education might not involve going to university. We are not all the same, we do not all have the same abilities but we do all have potential. Apprenticeships are helping an ever-growing number of hard working, motivated, young people to begin to realise their potential.

For more information about HTP Training and apprenticeships, please visit:

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