10 February 2023
When I look back at my time in school, all my conversations with my parents, teachers, and the career advisor revolved around me going to university as my next step after school. I had good grades and was involved in different activities, so it seemed like the natural next step. Being the first in my family to go to university was also quite the privilege, and I didn’t want to let my parents down.
After a couple of years, I realised that university wasn’t the right place for me. I wished I could go back and tell a younger Marco to really explore all his options. Now, as part of my role at London Youth, I’m focused on building partnerships and opportunities for young people to have the best start in their careers.
Today, less than 1 in 20 young people between the ages of 16 and 18 are apprentices, while more than half of all apprentices are over the age of 25. Research from Multiverse tells us that people are four times more likely to back apprenticeships over university as the best preparation for the working world.
This week, we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week to shine a light on the positive impact that apprenticeships have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy. With this year’s theme being ‘Skills for Life’, I want to showcase a couple ways in which London Youth are supporting young people and youth workers from our network, to gain ‘Skills for Life’.
Through the Digital Talent Programme, we’ve been supporting underrepresented young people and introducing them into the digital and tech sectors. One of the participants, Shakir has successfully progressed into an apprenticeship, as he wanted to learn, earn, and get real-world experience. Elizabeth House worked with Shakir giving him relevant paid work experience, Microsoft qualifications and coaching on successful interviews. Shakir has now gone onto an apprenticeship in IT Asset Management, through our partners QA.
Furthermore, since 2021, we’ve been working with CVC and London Progression Collaboration on Funded Apprenticeship Training for youth workers from our member organisations. Through the funding from CVC’s apprenticeship levy they’ll receive a nationally recognised Level 3 Youth Support Worker apprenticeship.
It is essential that youth workers are best equipped to support the needs of young people. Through our work on the Young Londoners Coalition, we’ve been creating more opportunities for youth workers to get high quality youth work qualifications. We are currently recruiting our new cohort to begin their apprenticeship in March 2023. Applications are open until Monday 20th February. Apply here
One possible way to stimulate more apprenticeships is to encourage large companies to share their apprenticeship levy with SMEs and the charity sector.
Through our work with LPC, on Thursday 9th February, we spoke at their Levy Donor Reception alongside Kyarna Morris, one of our Youth Work Apprentices from Immediate Theatre, Jane Howard from CVC, and Rob Singh from LPC. With over 40+ employers in the room, we talked about the impact of our partnership and shared how levy gifting can make a long-lasting impact. Kyarna spoke about how taking part in the apprenticeship has given her the chance to gain confidence, better support the young people she works with and grow her network.
However, more needs to be done to encourage young people into apprenticeships and companies to offer apprenticeships as an achievable pathway into the world of work. With the growth of degree apprenticeships and flexi-apprenticeships, more sectors will be able to support diverse talent into their workplaces. At London Youth, we are passionate about ensuring that young people have the best support in realising their potential and will keep doing more to support young Londoners.
– Marco Alidoro, Employability Manager at London Youth
For those of you working with young people, sign up to our Employability Opportunities Newsletter where we will be collating resources and guides from across National Apprenticeship Week and sharing them next week.
If you are an employer and would like to take part in our employability offer, or would like to talk about supporting young people into meaningful work please get in contact by email – firstname.lastname@example.org