A report on the Apprentice Futures event on 5 July 2023 from Jonathan Kanengoni, the Evening Standard apprentice who is supported by the Stationers’ Company.
A showcase for apprenticeships was held at the Guildhall on 5 July with some of the UK’s most recognisable brands for hundreds of school-leavers from across London.
The yearly event staged by the Stationers and Newspaper Makers Livery company encourages everyone from school-leavers to mature students to interact with employers and former and current apprentices for guidance and mentoring, as well as exposure to career paths that aren’t traditionally known for apprenticeships, including medical and legal industries.
Apprentice Futures hosted 40 stalls with employers including British Airways, Pearson and the Armed Forces.
Schools from boroughs across London attended the event gaining valuable insight and access routes for careers in multiple fields.
On the day, Anne Ashworth, a Stationers’ Liveryman, was impressed by the positivity of the students who attended. She said “We purposely aimed at year 11 upwards, because we knew that the exhibitors here would be able to talk to them about their futures. The young people have really got that, I can see their enthusiasm, lots of great conversations going on, and that’s what this is about.”
British Airways apprentice, Casper, currently undertaking an 18-month customer experience programme, which he started aged 20 said
“I’m thoroughly enjoying it,” he says. “Things I do include check ins, working the gates, working in the lounges, doing hosting, and doing connections.”
Casper found out about the apprenticeship from a friend, and since joining the programme at BA, he has gained a skillset that has helped him further his career.
He has enjoyed some of the complex situations that his role can bring, including helping customers who may have mistakenly had their visas terminated.
“I really like working through complex problems. If I’m able to deal with them, it gives me a lot of pride and a lot of satisfaction.”
The Prince’s Trust was also in attendance, with members of their staff present to offer their services to students, including career development workshops and CV reviews.
Youth Development Lead at The Prince’s Trust, Jessica Okuwuonu, says the skills they provide go further than employment.
“We’ve invited young people into our centres, told them about the Prince’s Trust and how we can help them but also taught them how to cook on a budget, and all the skills that you need to function in society today.”
The Prince’s Trust helps young people and adults up to 30-years-old in many aspects of daily life, and the charity has partnered up with multiple employers to help create pathways for young people.
“We work with employers to do that, we work with people like TK Maxx, and New Look, and we’ve worked with HSBC in the past plus many more to get young people into those jobs.”
There was also an emphasis on prospects for mature students. Anne Ashworth, who helps organise Apprentice Futures’ events alongside her work with Pearson, says it’s important that apprenticeships are made visible to those over school leavers’ age.
“There isn’t an awful lot of choice for more mature people but I think people are beginning to realise that if they want a career change, doing an apprenticeship is a perfect route way for getting into an employer and then making that career change.”