Interview with Chris Freemantle, learner engagement consultant

Apprentice Eye recently caught up with Chris Freemantle, freelance assessor and learner engagement consultant who works closely with apprentices and trainees.

1.      What advice would you give to a school leaver trying to decide the best route to a career? 

Careers advice in the UK is not very good for school leavers and more should be done in the last 2 years of schooling to help young people make decisions. Let’s be honest, not everyone finds their true calling as soon as they leave education.

My advice would be: ask yourself what you want to do as a career, then make a list of what jobs are realistic and achievable. Always do  in-depth research on the companies you are looking to get in to. In interviews, ask about the chances of progression or other training –  this shows the interviewer you are keen to progress.

2.      Do you think that apprenticeships should be seen as equal to university degrees? 

I believe that a university degree is more desirable in a lot of companies, but I think an apprenticeship offers more, so I would say it should be seen as equal. When you look at an apprenticeship it is more beneficial , learning on the job as well as learning from the course.

3.      Are there any common mistakes that young people make when applying for jobs?

There are a lot of mistakes, such as how they write a CV , or not knowing how to conduct themselves in an interview. Other common mistakes are not sourcing ideal personal references , or applying for roles of which they have no understanding.

4.      How important do you consider apprenticeships to be in filling the skills gap? 

Very important. People on apprenticeships are tomorrows future. We need to hone in on the young skills and strength and use them in the correct way.

5.      Do you think employers could be doing more to combat youth unemployment?

I think that more companies should offer work experience programmes for young people whilst they are still in education to give them a taste of employment and help them develop their skills.