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Worcester MP hails the value of work-based learning for current school leavers
3:00pm Tuesday 19th March 2013 in News
MANY young people would be better off turning their backs on a university degree and grabbing an apprenticeship instead, according to Worcester’s MP.
Robin Walker has hailed the value of work-based learning, insisting a whole generation of students “disengaged” from the classroom should look to apprenticeships as the way forward.
During a debate in the House of Commons, he also praised employers for being more willing than ever to take them on.
“Apprenticeships are often seen as the first step in a career, but it is important to recognise where they can lead,” he said.
“We should see them not just as a route into the lower end of the jobs market, which they have sometimes been misrepresented as in the past.
“For many young people, staying in school or college until 18 or going to university are not necessarily enticing prospects.
“Some of the brightest young people can be disengaged from classroom study by the time they reach 16 and many would relish the challenge of being able to learn in the workplace.”
He also said many youngsters could gain a lot from “learning in the workplace” instead of heading to university on a whim.
“In the past, apprenticeships served generations well as a means of entry into work, particularly in the manufacturing sector,” he said.
“But with the number of apprenticeships increasing across the advanced manufacturing, cyber, computer and service industries, I believe they can serve the current generation of school leavers even better.
“Many young people are better suited to learning in the workplace, rather than the classroom, and will thrive best given the opportunity to succeed, work hard and learn in a working environment.”
His comments follow the success of your Worcester News 100 in 100 campaign, which saw 145 companies employ 213 apprentices.
This week Prime Minister David Cameron said he wanted to make apprenticeships the “new norm” for the UK economy.
A report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research says that between now and 2021, 3.8 million people will complete apprenticeships.