Shattering myths about modern-day Apprenticeships

Published: October 17, 2016

TCAT’s business development manager Dale Kynaston shattered a series of myths about modern-day apprenticeships when he delivered a presentation to Telford Business Partnership.

He was one of the guest speakers at the partnership’s autumn breakfast meeting, held at the Park House Hotel in Shifnal, where the theme was ‘Creating A Workforce For The Future’.

Dale was joined by two apprentices who have only just started work in the employer engagement team at TCAT – Oliver Stevens and Katarina Trojanovska.

“Our business is about making your business better, and doing our best to provide the training to help industries narrow their skills gaps,” Dale told delegates.

“We have a large group of ex-industry practitioners who come out and work in the workplace, and there are very few areas that we do not cover – we want to become the portal for advice in Telford.”

Dale explained the two-pronged TCAT approach to promoting apprenticeships; engaging with employers on one hand, and educating parents and staff at local schools on the other.

“Currently, there are quite a lot of apprenticeship vacancies, and not enough people to fill them,” he said.

“People still think that an apprenticeship is only for a young person, and in traditional engineering, but this is not the case. Parents don’t realise the opportunities which exist in white collar as well as blue collar professions.

“It is still thought that engineering, plumbing, carpentry and construction are the only things that apprenticeships are about. But actually, it is business administration and law where most vacancies and opportunities exist at the moment.”

He revealed that a worker who takes an advanced apprenticeship can earn, on average, £100,000 more over the course of their career than those who do not.

“Parents sometimes don’t quite seem to understand that, and push children down the academic rather than vocational route, which isn’t always the right thing for their child.”

One in five parents think an apprenticeship is not ‘prestigious’ enough for their child, according to research, but Dale said this was because they did not realise they were available right up to degree level.

“Most people don’t realise this, and whenever I am networking with people, they are really surprised.”

TCAT delivers apprenticeships at all levels, right up to foundation degree and full degree level, thanks to its partnerships with the likes of the University of Wolverhampton.

Dale highlighted a series of former apprentices who have gone on to earn enormous fortunes, including mobile phone entrepreneur John Caudwell, JCB boss John Bamford, and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

He also revealed that two thirds of apprentices stay with their existing employer at the end of their studies.

“Apprenticeships provide businesses with important skills, and are excellent for succession planning. They also enhance a company’s reputation for investing in young people.”

TBP chairman Jan Minihane said: “It was a fantastic opportunity for our members and guests to hear about the options available to young people when it comes to preparing for the world of work.

“There were some real surprises in store when it came to the opportunities and initiatives out there.

“Many of our delegates said they would be exploring the projects and schemes we heard about, and looking into the support available to help build a workforce for the future.”

Photo of Dale Kynaston with Oliver Stevens and Katarina Trojanovska.


Photo: Dale Kynaston with Oliver Stevens and Katarina Trojanovska.