Apprenticeships are “a serious alternative to university”

20-year-old apprentice Liam Wood from Longton is encouraging other young people to think about choosing an apprenticeship if they want to get a foot on to the career ladder.

After studying personal and business finance at Stoke-on-Trent College, Liam began an apprenticeship with Stoke-on-Trent City Council in the accounts department.

Liam said: “I previously worked at Primark in Hanley and it has been a learning curve to move from retail into an office environment. There are also a lot of differences between working for a private company and the public sector. I’ve found that at the council there are a lot of people who are willing to help you and should there be any mistakes it’s a case of guiding you through it. It puts you at ease and makes you feel more comfortable so you are actually less likely to get things wrong.

“The team that I work with is great, and I’ve met some really interesting people. More young people should be made more aware of the apprenticeship opportunities that are out there. It is a great way of getting real work experience which is what a lot of employers are asking for. It’s difficult to get a job these days and that is the same for people who have been to university. I think apprenticeships shouldn’t be dismissed, there should be more done to highlight the opportunities available and promote apprenticeships as a serious alternative to university. I’m now studying for an NVQ Level 3 and hope to take on additional duties as I go along. Long term I want to stay in finance.”