On Wednesday Alexandra Frean, Business Editor for The Times, added to the ongoing debate on the value of university degrees. “No prizes for guessing the answer to the principal question posed yesterday by the economic affairs committee of the House of Lords: would some undergraduates be better off not going to university? Whichever way you look at it, the answer is “yes”. Some undergraduates may not find a degree “worth” £49,000 in student debt and/or the time invested to earn it.
For those who have a good idea of the kind of work they want to do, it’s an absolute no-brainer to ditch the degree in favour of a higher-level apprenticeship in their chosen field. This allows them to earn a salary and to get 18 months of work experience while they gain a degree-level qualification with a guaranteed job at the end in which they are, initially at least, likely to earn more than friends who went to university”.
UNFM has always believed in the value of education as a means to lead a useful and fulfilled life. We just don’t believe it has to happen within conventional confines and should be both of societal as well as individual benefit. Which is why we love the National Apprenticeship Awards. Shining a light on the pioneering organisations and individuals who are shaping a new future, we’re thrilled to share the winning teams.
From beauty therapists to water engineers, the hugely diverse opportunities for young people should inspire both students, their parents and their teachers. We’ll be profiling individual success stories over the coming weeks and months, but for now let’s call it out for:
- Shannon Green, Althams Travel Services Ltd, winner of The Unilever Award for Intermediate Apprentice of the Year
- Heeran Basi, Severn Trent Water, winner of The PeoplePlus Award for Advanced Apprentice of the Year
- Charlotte Hughes, GlaxoSmithKline, winner of The Nuclear Decommissioning Site Licence Companies Award for Higher or Degree Apprentice of the Year:
- Ross Jasper, DCH and Matthew Gustard, Nottingham City Homes, winner of The Unilever Award for Intermediate Apprentice of the Year
- Hannah Magowan, Dale Power Solutions and Megan Whitbread, Troup Bywaters + Anders, winner of The PeoplePlus Award for Advanced Apprentice of the Year
- Christopher Achiampong, IBM and Thomas Sherlock, IBM, winner of The Nuclear Decommissioning Site Licence Companies Award for Higher or Degree Apprentice of the Year.
And special congrats to Sarah Barley from South Hunsley School who won the Santander Award for Apprenticeship Champion of the Year. She was recognised for the employer led programme she developed, recruiting 50 local employers to support and inspire young people about their next steps, while also planning open events to recruit employers interested in offering apprenticeships. Lois McLure from the Co-op and Julie Honour-Jones from Sir John Lawes School were both highly commended in this category.
No personal success could happen without the employers behind the people so let’s celebrate:
- The Troup Bywater + Anders Award for Small Employer of the Year: Beauty Oasis Spa
- The Royal Navy Award for Medium Employer of the Year: Superior Seals Limited
- The British Army Award for Large Employer of the Year: Dale Power Solutions
- The Open University Award for Macro Employer of the Year: Royal Air Force
- The BAE Systems Award for Newcomer SME of the Year: Lander Automotive Ltd
- The Rolls-Royce Award for Newcomer Large Employer of the Year: YBS Group (Yorkshire Building Society)
And two highly commended in each category:
- The Troup Bywater + Anders Award for Small Employer of the Year: Ginger Nut Media and McCarrick Contruction
- The Royal Navy Medium Employer of the Year: Invotra Limited and Maycast-Nokes Precision Engineering Ltd
- The British Army Award for Large Employer of the Year: Volvo Group UK and Eire and Home Group
- The Open University Award for Macro Employer of the Year: BBC and Lloyds Banking Group
- The BAE Systems Award for Newcomer SME of the Year: Blue Logic and Bury St Edmunds Canine Creche
- The Rolls-Royce Award for Newcomer Large Employer of the Year: Magnet and NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT)
Andy Tupman, Emerging Talent Manager at Yorkshire Building Society told us that for YBS there’s no such thing as a typical apprentice. “There’s no average age, no average background and no experience required – we are much more interested in finding applicants with the right values and passion for exceeding customer expectations.” Big hand clap.
Also announced was the Centrica Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list 2017, featuring the most exceptional apprenticeship employers from all the National Apprenticeship Awards employer categories. The list includes Lloyds Banking Group, EDF Energy and IBM, and shows the breadth of employers offering fantastic apprenticeship opportunities.
Sue Husband, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service, believes apprenticeships are for everyone, a view UNFM firmly agrees with. As Alexandra Frean suggests, the opportunity to learn and earn is becoming increasingly attractive prospect for young people considering their career options and weighing up the value of a £49,000 debt.
And click here and a big shout out for the formidable top 100 apprenticeship employer list 2017…