Boris Johnson advises A-Level students to consider higher apprenticeships

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has urged all of London’s A-Level students to undertake an apprenticeship now that they have received their results, hoping that they will make a positive contribution to the capital’s growing youth employment figures.

On August 13th students around the UK received their A-Level results, with UCAS stating that a record 409,000 university places have been confirmed, which is a rise of 3 per cent on 2014.

Despite these statistics, Boris Johnson has advised A-Level students to go down a career path that doesn’t involve attending university:

‘‘I would like to see as many young Londoners as possible getting onto the first rung of the career ladder by signing up for an apprenticeship programme.’’

‘‘I urge each and every one of you clutching an A-Level results statement today to consider a path that will equip you with the skills and opportunities to excel.”

Tim Campbell, the Mayor’s ambassador for Training and Enterprise has also encouraged A-Level students to undertake an apprenticeship, stating that the passion and commitment of apprentices is a boost to the UK economy.

‘‘Apprentices are hard-working, highly motivated people with the initiative and courage to find ways of learning new skills and earning money at the same time.’’

‘‘Apprenticeships should be seen as an investment by employers. Where that investment is nurtured, the returns to the businesses are tremendous.’’

Since 2010, over 200,000 Londoners have undertaken an apprenticeship, a figure that is complimented by the fact that the number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) in London is at its lowest since records began.

Geographically, London holds the title for having the lowest NEET levels in the UK, while the capital has recorded its highest 16-24 year old employment numbers since 2007.

Johnson has cherry-picked a number of apprentices to talk about their experiences as an apprentice. Chloe Jervis, a 21 year-old former PR apprentice now working at Frank PR, explains why she chose an apprenticeship over going to university.

‘‘In August 2012, I finished Sixth Form with a strong set of A-Level results and a place at The University of Sheffield – but I knew that I didn’t want to pay £9,000 a year for a degree I wasn’t sure I wanted to do.’’

‘‘I decided to pursue an apprenticeship and looked for PR opportunities online after my mum said I’d be good at it. Turns out she was right; PR seems to come naturally to me. I’m now nearly three years in, working on award winning campaigns at an award winning agency and even heading to Rio soon after winning 2014’s Employee of the Year!’’

‘‘Going down the apprenticeship route gave me a foot in the door that I never would have had otherwise – I couldn’t recommend it more.’’