Apprentices are our future

For National Apprentice Week, the CEO of Nylacast, Mussa Mahomed, tells us why he believes apprentices are the future

Are apprenticeships important? Are they good for business and for the young people themselves? These are questions that have been discussed in business and government for years, and the answer today is a resounding yes. I certainly agree.

Too many young people lack the essential skills that would enable them to find employment. This is an issue that apprenticeships address in the best possible way, training young people on the job while teaching them the skills they need to get on, not just in this line of work but life in general.

If Labour were to get back into power in May, they have promised an apprenticeship would be available for every school leaver who gets the grades required by 2020. The fact that they have made this a major election pledge goes to show how important Ed Milliband thinks apprenticeships are. Other parties have also given their support to the concept.

I personally believe apprenticeships are worthy of support from the highest echelons of government to the shop floor. A lot of stock is put into a university degree, to go into further education and ‘better yourself’. While this path works for many young people, it is expensive and quite often the wrong approach for some individuals.

Last year’s unemployment figures for Leicester alone were 6.4%, so by giving young people the chance to shine through our apprenticeship programme, we are proud to be providing work for local people. I believe more businesses should join those of us providing these kinds of opportunities. Local recruitment is really important, and it’s great that as a business we can give something back to Leicester by investing in the next generation of talent.

If you are the type of person who is a visual learner, someone who learns by doing, then an apprenticeship is very likely the best option for you. Not only do you learn on the job from people still doing it, but you also get paid for your work.

At Nylacast we have a very strong apprenticeship programme in place and we take pride in seeing our apprentices develop into fully qualified engineers, and then see them train apprentices of their own.

We think apprenticeships make sense for businesses as well as young people. Our programme, which was established five years ago, is a key part of our growth plans.

There is a deficit in engineering skills worldwide, and we’re pleased to be able to help fill that gap and show other young people that there are exciting career paths in engineering out there that they might not have considered.

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