Students urged to take part in National Apprenticeship Week events
Today marks the start of the 10th annual National Apprenticeship Week.
Schools, colleges and businesses across the nation are joining forces this week to celebrate the wealth of opportunities facing young people leaving school.
The week got off to a roaring start with a special event held at Barclays Bank on Canary Wharf, where education secretary Justine Greening addressed an audience of 100 employers and apprentices.
In her speech, Ms Greening praised the lifelong benefits of apprenticeships, calling them a "gold-standard route into a great career".
Over the course of the week, schools, colleges and organisations across the country will be getting involved with National Apprenticeship Week by holding a number of different activities and events.
You can find out more about activities near you on the government website.
Director of the National Apprenticeship Service Sue Husband is eager to encourage people to join in the week's events to find out more about the scheme.
She said: "Year-on-year I am overwhelmed by how many organisations get behind National Apprenticeship Week to celebrate the positive impact apprenticeships have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.
"I have no doubt that this, our 10th National Apprenticeship Week, will be our biggest and best yet. Today’s launch event has showcased some brilliant apprenticeship success whilst also demonstrating how apprenticeships have benefited both apprentices and employers.
"Apprentices are on the path to a great career with an apprenticeship; and for employers, apprenticeships bring opportunity: to attract new talent, to offer progression for current staff, and to develop a motivated and highly qualified workforce. With apprenticeships available in 1500 job roles and covering more than 170 industries – there has never been a better time to get involved in apprenticeships."
The crowd also heard from chairman of the Apprenticeship Delivery Board and the National Apprenticeship Ambassador Network, David Meller and Mike Thompson, head of apprenticeships at Barclays.
Former apprentice Lucy Wilkins at Somerset County Council and Get in Go Far campaigner Chris Achiampong from IBM also spoke at the event, in addition to two Barclays apprentices, Jonathan Allen and Natalie Ojevah.