Two Apprentices

by Anood Al-Samerai on 26 October, 2011

Yesterday I had a fantastic time at the South London Apprenticeship fair on Southampton Way. I was inspired by the young people I met and all the great organisations which support them. It was hugely encouraging to see so many proper employers offering real apprenticeships, training and jobs from just about every industry you could think of: construction, food, insurance, the police and fire brigade and advertising.

I met a sixteen year old who’s just started an apprenticeship at notgoingtouni.co.uk and he’s doing brilliantly – earning money, meeting people and fulfilling what is clearly his massive potential. I also met groups like Junction49 which support young people with funding ideas for projects in their communities. There was also 1:1  support with putting together CVs and practising for job interviews from invaluable organisations like Southwark Works.

All in all, I came away feeling much more optimistic about apprenticeships. This was a little tinged with disappointment that Labour had not agreed to the Liberal Democrat suggestion at our last council meeting that we take an apprentice in the council’s Cabinet Office and one in the Opposition Office. This would send a real signal about how important apprentices are and I can’t see why the Leader of the Council wouldn’t want an apprentice in his office. I am certainly very keen to take one in mine. I offer lots of young people work experience, shadowing and mentoring, but an apprenticeship would be so valuable and really make a difference. I’ll keep pushing the Labour Leader on this as he hasn’t been able to give me a good reason why the council shouldn’t do it – other than because it’s a Liberal Democrat idea!

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