According to a new report, young people who don’t go on to study for A levels or degrees are “overlooked and left behind” when it comes to their future employment prospects.
The research, which was conducted by the House of Lords social mobility committee, found that there is a strong focus on numbers entering university, despite 53% of young people in England choosing not to pursue academic studies after the age of 16.
Could a narrow focus on academia when it comes to the current curriculum and a lack of suitable training opportunities be letting down a generation of school leavers?
The truth is, as the report demonstrates, higher education is not suited to everyone. Likewise, there are plenty of people who would prefer to gain broader life experience within the workplace, with the chance to learn valuable career skills.
With the Association of Plumbers and Heating Contractors also reporting that 86% of people agree that school leavers should be encouraged to consider apprenticeships as an alternative to higher education, perhaps a fresh approach is needed? One that promotes careers in trades alongside university.
Under the scheme, we will appoint three young adults to complete a 15-month City & Guilds accredited business administration course, combining on-the-job learning, training, and qualifications. More importantly, the ‘Westco Academy’ will offer these young people the first step towards a long and fruitful career in the industry.
Each apprentice will spend a full three months in each of our Warehouse, Sales, Production, Accounts, and Procurement departments, so they can find out more about the business and the type of career path they would like to pursue.
Ultimately, we hope the initiative will provide young adults with the skills they need to succeed; while at the same time, helping to build a pipeline of young talent that will benefit the industry for years to come.