We’ve always believed that apprenticeships are the best and most successful way to start a new career and we’re pleased to say that Euan Blair – son of former prime minister Tony Blair and founder and CEO of apprenticeship provider WhiteHat – wholeheartedly agrees.
In a recent interview with the Times Educational Supplement, Mr Blair stated that it’s time “to transform post-16 education” and “If [apprenticeships are] going to be taken seriously, they can’t just be seen as the option for kids who aren’t that academically bright, who were never going to go to university anyway.”
This is a stance we’ve always taken here at the LHAA – that apprenticeships are for everybody regardless of academic qualifications, and that they should never be seen as the ‘poor man’s alternative’ to further education. In fact, it’s become painfully obvious over the past several years that the schooling system has let too many young people down, and apprenticeships offer valuable, immediate and life-changing opportunities that further education just isn’t able to match.
Unfortunately, though, some people still feel a stigma about the word ‘apprenticeships’. Mr Blair says it’s time to put those old-fashioned biases to bed, advising that apprenticeships should be “part of a broader early careers programme. Give them the same kind of benefits, give them the same kind of employment contract, similar terms, pay them a similar level, because then you’ve not got that distinction and stigma.”
We couldn’t agree more, and that’s exactly the kind of mutual respect and parity the LHAA has always strived for. It’s also one of the many reasons that our apprenticeships are so special, because we find our students a salon placement as soon as they enrol, not only guaranteeing them an immediate income but ensuring that they have full support and encouragement every step of the way.
Last year Mr Blair contributed an article to the website Unifrog which also touched on two areas very close to our heart. He wrote that “Apprenticeships must actually equip apprentices with skills employers need” and “Teaching must be delivered by experienced professionals taken directly from the sector in which they are delivering.”
Which, of course, is exactly what a LHAA apprenticeship already delivers.
It’s great to hear that Mr Blair and the LHAA share the same values and it’s all proof that there’s never been a better time to be an apprentice.