Shaping Portsmouth’s Apprentice Bus tour of city secondary schools makes an impact during National Apprenticeship Week

HUNDREDS of Portsmouth pupils have been ‘inspired’ by the city's best and brightest apprentices thanks to an annual bus tour.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

The Shaping Portsmouth Apprenticeship Bus, which tours the city annually to promote apprenticeships, returned to Portsmouth during National Apprenticeship Week, which runs from 6-12 February.

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.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Last year 857 students took part in the programme, leading to positive conversations around apprenticeship routes and career paths.

The Apprenticeship bus visits Trafalgar School, Portsmouth on Tuesday 7th February 2023

Pictured: Gemma Lanham of Solent NHS Trust, Charlie Jarman and Ben Eyers from Hover Travel, Lily Holmes from Biscoes Solicitors with year 10 pupils at Trafalgar School, Portsmouth

Picture: Habibur RahmanThe Apprenticeship bus visits Trafalgar School, Portsmouth on Tuesday 7th February 2023

Pictured: Gemma Lanham of Solent NHS Trust, Charlie Jarman and Ben Eyers from Hover Travel, Lily Holmes from Biscoes Solicitors with year 10 pupils at Trafalgar School, Portsmouth

Picture: Habibur Rahman
The Apprenticeship bus visits Trafalgar School, Portsmouth on Tuesday 7th February 2023 Pictured: Gemma Lanham of Solent NHS Trust, Charlie Jarman and Ben Eyers from Hover Travel, Lily Holmes from Biscoes Solicitors with year 10 pupils at Trafalgar School, Portsmouth Picture: Habibur Rahman

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.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

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.

The Apprenticeship bus visits Portsmouth Academy, Fratton on Wednesday 8th February 2023.The Apprenticeship bus visits Portsmouth Academy, Fratton on Wednesday 8th February 2023.
The Apprenticeship bus visits Portsmouth Academy, Fratton on Wednesday 8th February 2023.

‘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.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

‘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.

The Apprenticeship bus visits Trafalgar School, Portsmouth on Tuesday 7th February 2023

Pictured: Gemma Lanham of Solent NHS Trust, Charlie Jarman and Ben Eyers from Hover Travel, Lily Holmes from Biscoes Solicitors with year 10 pupils at Trafalgar School, Portsmouth

Picture: Shaping PortsmouthThe Apprenticeship bus visits Trafalgar School, Portsmouth on Tuesday 7th February 2023

Pictured: Gemma Lanham of Solent NHS Trust, Charlie Jarman and Ben Eyers from Hover Travel, Lily Holmes from Biscoes Solicitors with year 10 pupils at Trafalgar School, Portsmouth

Picture: Shaping Portsmouth
The Apprenticeship bus visits Trafalgar School, Portsmouth on Tuesday 7th February 2023 Pictured: Gemma Lanham of Solent NHS Trust, Charlie Jarman and Ben Eyers from Hover Travel, Lily Holmes from Biscoes Solicitors with year 10 pupils at Trafalgar School, Portsmouth Picture: Shaping Portsmouth

The Royal Navy was one of more than 20 businesses taking part in the initiative, including Hover Travel, Mountjoy and The News.

‘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.

The Apprenticeship bus visits Trafalgar School, Portsmouth on Tuesday 7th February 2023

Pictured:  Ben Eyers, Team Leader of Hover Travel who started as an apprentice at Trafalgar School, Portsmouth

Picture: Habibur RahmanThe Apprenticeship bus visits Trafalgar School, Portsmouth on Tuesday 7th February 2023

Pictured:  Ben Eyers, Team Leader of Hover Travel who started as an apprentice at Trafalgar School, Portsmouth

Picture: Habibur Rahman
The Apprenticeship bus visits Trafalgar School, Portsmouth on Tuesday 7th February 2023 Pictured: Ben Eyers, Team Leader of Hover Travel who started as an apprentice at Trafalgar School, Portsmouth Picture: Habibur Rahman
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

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.