MORE young people need to consider apprenticeships as a way to begin their careers.
Gavin Smith, senior government funding training manager for Peta Ltd, a training agency based in North Harbour, says vacancies are going unfilled, despite high youth unemployment.
Statistics released this week show there were 1,800 fewer 16 to 18-year-old new apprentices in England last year than in 2010/11 – a 1.4 per cent fall.
Gavin said: ‘What is worrying is that there are actually apprenticeships for 16 to 18-year-olds available now with local employers but, astonishingly, the interest level seems to be very low or in some cases non-existent.
‘So, where are the young people that want jobs and do they know about the opportunities available to them?’
In Portsmouth, however, the picture looks a little brighter.
New figures released yesterday showed around 2,100 people chose to take on an apprenticeship last year in Portsmouth alone.
But Gavin said more needs to be done to educate young people in school about apprenticeships and how they can be paid to get qualified.
One apprentice who is urging more young people to take up positions is Harrison Finch, 16, who is a first year craft apprentice with BAE Systems Maritime Services – the branch of the shipbuilder which keeps the ships afloat.
Rory Fisher, its managing director, said: ‘Harrison is a great spokesperson for the BAE Systems apprenticeship.
‘It’s important that we get the message out to young people that an apprenticeship can be a great career option.’
To help people find out more information, Peta is hosting an open evening on Thursday, March 21 at its headquarters in the Acorn Business Park, Northarbour Road, from 4.30 pm.