Apprenticeship hope for A-level students

A-LEVEL students unable to find a place at universty for this autumn were yesterday urged by an East Anglian training specialist to consider taking up an apprenticeship as an alternative.

An estimated 150,000 students across the country are expected to miss out on a university place this year, but W S Training, which has offices in Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich, says that there are scores of apprenticeship currently available in Suffolk alone.

“It’s a very positive thing for a bright, young student to do,” said Jane Vincent, chief executive at W S Training.

“Good candidates can get a job for a year, complete their apprenticeship, earn a bit of cash and get some real experience on their CV while they apply to get into university next year.”

WS Training has placed more than 50 young people into apprenticeships across Suffolk in recent months. It has a similar number of places currently available and is aware of other training providers locally which also have openings.

“We work with local employers to match the right student to the apprenticeship opportunity that best meets their needs and abilities,” said Mrs Vincent.

“Not getting a place at university will be a big disappointment for many students, I’m sure, but they don’t have to think that it’s the end of the world.

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“An apprenticeship will help to prepare them for their working lives and may even reveal to them ideas and opportunities that they had never previously considered.”

An apprenticeship could also be an option for students who have received their GCSE results this week and do not wish to stay at school, added Mrs Vincent.

Apprenticeships take between one and four years to complete, depending on the level of qualification involved, the apprentices’ ability and the industry sector.

Besides undergoing training in job-specific skills, leading to a formal qualification, apprentices get a salary and paid holidays. The minimum salary is �95 a week, although many apprentices earn significantly more, the average currently being around �150.

Apprenticeships are funded wholly or in part by the Skills Funding Agency and employers are expected to contribute any shortfall so that they are effectively free to the learner.

WS Training works with local employers and staff at the National Apprenticeship Service and Suffolk Youth and Connexions to bring together young people looking for work and employers seeking employees.

Anyone living in England, over 16 and not in full-time education can apply.

For further details about apprenticeships, visit .