Sunday, March 3, 2024

South Essex College concerns over lack of apprentice applications in Thurrock

COLLEGE bosses are appealing to parents to help fill vacant apprenticeship places before it is too late.

Supply Chain and Logistics Development Manager at South Essex College, Mark Bentley, says concern is growing that young people are not recognising the value of apprenticeships.

The College currently has around a dozen vacancies in the growing logistics sector. Mark and his team at the Thurrock Campus in Grays have also been in contact with other local companies keen to recruit.

Mark said: “The supply chain and logistics sector is really buying into apprenticeships as an ideal way of recruiting fresh talent. It is a great shame that we are struggling to recruit young people to these vital roles.

“These businesses will not wait forever and Thurrock risks losing these apprenticeship opportunities which is the last thing we want to see.

“There are outstanding career opportunities within the logistics sector covering road, rail, sea and air transportation. Career-minded students can literally travel the world as logistics is a global business with career opportunities throughout the world.”

Research released by Interserve earlier this month revealed that just seven per cent of young people want to take an apprenticeship. This compares with 72 per cent who are planning on going to university or college.

Mark added: “A major part of the EU referendum debate was about immigration and the impact on jobs. We have real paid jobs available now. I want to appeal to parents to speak with their sons or daughters about these opportunities.

“If your children are leaving school, or you are an unemployed adult aged 24 or under, we really want to hear from you.”

Michael Bennett, Head of Marketing and Communications at the College, said apprenticeships were suffering from an “image problem”.

He said: “It is evident that apprenticeships lack the prestige assigned to university education. This is completely wrong. Business, government and educators must all work together to better inform parents and young people about apprenticeships. These programmes can and must be the driving force for skills and sustainable careers.”

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