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Page last updated at 14:12 GMT, Thursday, 21 October 2010 15:12 UK
Apprentices in Leeds learning about life and work
Sheree Wraith (centre) with some of the firm's apprentices
Sheree Wraith (centre) with some of the firm's apprentices

Apprenticeships are becoming more popular as rising university fees mean more young people want to get into the world of work.

So says Learning Innovations, a Leeds-based training organisation.

Law firm Ford and Warren currently has 10 apprentices working at their Westgate Point offices.

Over 12 months the apprentice receives training and practical experience of just what a job entails.

An apprenticeship means getting on-the-job training leading to nationally recognised qualifications. The idea has a long history stretching right back to the guilds of the middle ages.

Skills Active say that nearly 240,000 people started an apprenticeship in 2009, a 7% rise over the previous year.

Permanent post

Even if the trainee does not get a permanent post with the firm at the end of the apprenticeship it is hoped the experience and training will make he or she better placed in the job market.

Sheree Wraith of Ford and Warren said: "We are so happy to be involved in a scheme which recognises the potential of young people.

"We aim to help the apprentices improve and work on their individual strengths to give them life skills which will assist them with their future careers.

The apprentices study for an NVQ qualification during their time at Ford and Warren.

Dale Pace
Dale now knows he definitely wants to work in IT

Heart set

One of the local apprentices Dale Pace, 18, has his heart set on a career in computers after working in the lawyer's IT department.

Dale said: "The most valuable thing I have learnt by taking part in this scheme is that my dream job would be in IT and now I would do anything to achieve this goal."

Learning Innovations administer the scheme and provide additional coaching on CV writing, interview techniques and how to fit into a working environment.

Steve Marshall, Recruitment Manager at Learning Innovations explained: "Young school leavers can struggle to find work due to a lack of experience, but they can't gain experience without getting a job - it's a Catch 22 situation.

"Our apprenticeships can provide an invaluable year's worth of experience, alongside a recognised qualification and a real salary which sets young people up for the world of work."

Learning Innovations are also urging local businesses to think about providing a place for an apprentice.

Steve Marshall said: "We would love to be able to provide more opportunities."



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