Shaping Portsmouth’s Apprentice Bus tour of city secondary schools makes an impact during National Apprenticeship Week
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Over three days, the scheme saw over 50 apprentices from a range of different sectors including travel, education, carpentry and journalism, volunteer their time, visiting ten secondary schools in the city, to share their personal insights.
Last year 857 students took part in the programme, leading to positive conversations around apprenticeship routes and career paths.
20-year-old Ruby Thompson, a junior content producer at Vespasian Security was on her second day of the tour.
‘I think the majority of the reaction has been positive. There’s been excitement over what’s possible, options that aren't just college or university,’ she said. ‘Especially students that want to go into trade or creative work, I don't think they realise how many opportunities are available to them.’
At each school, up to three apprentice’s were grouped with 10 students for a speed networking session, discussing elements of their job and how they entered into the field.
Ruby added: ‘It’s definitely been fun and enjoyable, doing it in a laid back environment definitely takes away that apprehension and the nerves of talking to someone new.
‘Sometimes you run the risk of students becoming bored or uninterested, so having the speed networking element where it’s someone different each ten minutes works really well.’
Joel Shaw, 28, a communication information system specialist at the Royal Navy, also joined dozens of apprentices on day two of the bus.
He said: ‘From a Navy perspective, we’ve had an overwhelming interest, we’ve very much been the talking point and we’ve been able to provide information in regards to what we do and apprenticeships as well. School isn’t for everyone, some people might not achieve the qualifications they wanted to, the Navy recognises this.
‘It gives people the confidence to not only develop their trade, but expand on their educational background that they might not have necessarily achieved within that school setting.
‘We’ve motivated and hopefully inspired some of the students to join the royal navy in the future, it’s getting that message across that it’s not just a fighting force, it’s also a force that encourages education, development and getting the best out of you,’ added Joel.
Apprenticeship bus coordinator and member of Portsmouth City Council’s careers and progression team, Chloe Bolton, was pleased with the success of that second day and keen to carry out the finale of the tour of Portsmouth school’s, on Thursday.
She said: ‘The aim is to help young people discover whether an apprenticeship option is right for them, we want to encourage as many young people onto the apprenticeship route, we think it’s really valuable.
‘It’s been really good, the young people seem really inspired and know more about apprenticeships which is the main thing and even some of our young apprentices come off feeling much more confident and able to talk about their roles and experiences,’ added Chloe.