A NUMBER of firms throughout the south are opening their doors to budding trainees this week.
Companies are celebrating National Apprenticeship Week, which runs from March 5 to March 9, by holding open days, offering advice and opportunities.
One person who really understands the importance of apprenticeships is Steve Willis.
Steve, managing director of Portmouth-based Steve Willis Training Centre, began his career as an apprentice before going on to build his own company.
Today, the firm joins forces with Clarion Housing Group to host its Open Morning event.
Steve’s Portchester training centre is open between 10am-1pm. Anybody looking to learn about gas, plumbing and electrical apprenticeship training is invited to attend.
Steve said: ‘Having started my working life as an apprentice I can see the benefits of an apprenticeship first hand.
‘It’s the perfect way to learn from the experts, both on the job and in the classroom, while being paid yourself. I think the old saying is just as true today as it ever was – if you have a trade you’re set for life.
Having taken on a high number of apprentices over the years, those at Steve Willis Training admitted to choosing the option because they wanted to get their working lives started, rather than be stuck in a classroom.
The firm is also squashing the misconception that apprentices are ‘just for teenagers’.
Chris Elliott, a 36-year-old electrical level 3 apprentice from Fareham, said: ‘I chose an apprenticeship because it allowed me to retrain in a new industry while still being in employment. There is no age limit!’
The firm confirmed that there is no need to book to attend. Simply turn up to hear about what is on offer.