Herald Opinion: Apprenticeships are back in vogue

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ONCE upon a time in the not too distant past an apprenticeship was a well-respected and surefire way of learning a trade or skilled profesional job.

But the number of apprentices dwindled as university places increased during the seventies and eighties, and gave way in the public consciousness to the less popular YTS scheme.

However, it now seems genuine skilled apprenticeships are back in vogue.

Earlier this year the Coalition Government announced it wanted companies to create an extra 100,000 new apprenticeships in next three years and pledged to provide extra cash to help employers to achieve this target.

On a national level, British Airways, British Gas, Superdrug, and Procter & Gamble are just some of the heavy-hitters which have signed up to the scheme and created thousands of apprenticeships.

Last week Eastbourne’s businesses gave their enthusiastic support to MP Stephen Lloyd’s campaign to find 100 apprenticeships for 100 apprentices.

An impressive 38 apprenticeships were pledged in just one day and hopefully many more are in the pipeline following a well-attended open day launch at the Town Hall.

Apprenticeships can provide comprehensive training and an ideal way to learn while actually doing the job.

Let’s hope 62 or more apprenticeships are found in the coming months.

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Less positive employment news this week with the announcement 43 career advisors for young people are set to lose their jobs.

The posts will be scrapped across the county, including 17 in Eastbourne, following a decision by East Sussex County Council.

It’s a great pity the council cannot pay for the much-needed service provided by the company Connexions but the council is under pressure to cut millions from its budget and more cuts in services will inevitably follow.

The young people who will no longer recieve any careers advice, and the 43 professional people who have been made redundant could be forgiven for thinking Government’s much vaunted Big Society isn’t big enough.