Apprenticeships; The Way Forwards? By Ania Kaluza

There has been much talk in the media about lack of opportunity being a cause of the recent rioting within England. It is said that many young people have taken to the streets because they have no prospects and see no future for themselves. This is not the place to enter into a complex sociological debate on the many deep-rooted causes of the current trouble, but one point does stand out: education. Many young people either leave school early without qualifications or under-achieve whilst there. Some of the reasons for this will be specific to individuals, others more general. We all have negative experiences from school where sometimes our strengths were not used to the maximum and noone worked with us to improve upon our weaknesses.

The events in London demonstrate that in teaching there should be more emphasis on building mutual respect and good relationships between the learner and teacher. Additionally, we should develop students’ mandatory skills such as literacy and numeracy as well as important life skills such as career planning. It is crucial for educational organisations to motivate their learners by showing them what they can do with their qualifications and encouraging their students to reflect upon the practical applications of their learning both in the work place and in everyday life.

In the Evening Standard last week, Boris Johnson highlighted that one  solution to address the current problem is through the use of Apprenticeships. The apprenticeship training provision offers vocational qualifications in the workplace with personally tailored training programmes and teaching. This is the way that we work within Straight A Training. It is a priority for us to help our students to reach thir full potential and career objectives. Every learner has their own Individual Learning/Personal Development Plan which is expanded upon during the completion of their apprenticeship. But the most important thing is that we always try to build a friendly, respectful and helpful relationship between our learners and assessors in order to encourage students’ progress and to make studying fun. Our apprenticeships are like stepping stones for further education or an opportunity for gaining life skills to progress on your career pathway.