Apprenticeship route is the way to go – MP

SMILES MP George Hollingbery with student Ben Phillips

SMILES MP George Hollingbery with student Ben Phillips

Kevin Porter

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BUDDING engineers, carpenters, and entrepreneurs were urged to consider apprenticeships at a careers fair.

Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery visited the apprenticeship fair at Horndean Technology College to throw his support behind the scheme.

More than 1,200 young people have started apprenticeships in the last two years in the Meon Valley. A dozen businesses and training providers set up stalls at the school in Barton Cross.

Among them was Jacqui Worsdell, 43, from Waterlooville. She went to school in Horndean and trained as a dental nurse under the Youth Training Scheme in the 1980s.

Yesterday, she was promoting apprenticeships in her role as a tutor at Highbury College.

She said: ‘After I left school I had no idea what I wanted to do.

‘The help, direction and everything you get in those early years is second to none, in my opinion.

‘I want to bring it back into secondary schools that it is an option to do an apprenticeship.’

Scores of children visited the fair.

Harry McBride, 15, of Lychgate Drive, Horndean, is considering doing an engineering apprenticeship.

He said: ‘I know I will definitely have a job at the end of it.’

John Slade, 16, of Mill Road, Denmead, is considering following in the footsteps of his dad and becoming a painter and decorator.

He said: ‘I’m probably going to go to college to do musical performance but I came here to keep my options open.’

Ben Phillips, 16, of Walderton, near Chichester, has had his own business since Year 9 and is considering an apprenticeship. ‘I have imported computer screen cleaner from China,’ he said.

‘I’ve put my own branding on it and had my first show at the NEC in Birmingham. I’m just looking at all the options.’

The fair was organised by Julian Brown, head of careers department, and Angela Cowey, careers administrator.

Those taking part weer Astrium, CITB, Fareham College, Highbury College, Havant YSS, Horndean Business Network, Lavant Horse Stables, nITp, Paragon, PETA, Royal Navy, South Downs College and Chichester College.

Mr Hollingbery said: ‘There are a huge number of kids out there for whom university might be perfect, but there are equally large numbers who are not right for it.

‘What they want to do is get on, earn some money and learn the skills and ensure they are employed for rest of their lives.’

Yesterday, David Willetts, science minister and Havant MP, announced the launch of the first higher apprenticeships in space engineering.

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