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INTERACTIVE NETCAM LINKS TO APPRENTICES
In June and July 2011, as an element of preparations for making Post 16 choices, students in Kingswood Partnership schools have been taking advantage of an innovative project that provides the opportunity for them to speak directly to apprentices in their place of work - without the need for students to leave the classroom!
Remote video cameras using an internet link (netcams) have been installed at a range of organisations within the Western Training Provider Network (WTPN) and have allowed students to find out at first hand what it's like to do an apprenticeship. Students have questioned young people who have chosen to undertake an apprenticeship in areas as diverse as automotive engineering, hairdressing, aeronautical engineering, social care, business, carpentry and plumbing.
Hanham High School Head Teacher Peggy Farrington said:
'This is the next best thing to hands-on experience. The key thing is that the students can talk to people in real time and it makes the link much more real for students. In the Kingswood Partnership we are always looking for new ways to engage students and this development is great.'
Students take part in a variety of activities, before a link to an apprenticeship workplace is established, so that they are thoroughly prepared to make the most of the live netcam link.
The feedback from students taking part in the netcam sessions has been overwhelmingly positive and many students have commented about how useful it has been in terms of helping to shape their own plans for the future.
Lloyd Harris, the Kingswood Partnership Information Advice & Guidance manager said:
'Students have made really effective use of these sessions and have obviously benefited quite significantly from the experience of speaking directly to current apprentices in their place of work. It has allowed students to get a genuine insight into a possible progression route that is likely to become increasingly popular in the future.'
Apprentices work alongside experienced staff in companies to gain skills specific to the job. They receive on-the-job training whilst working towards a nationally recognized qualification; and anyone aged over 16, who is living in England and not in full time education, can apply to become an apprentice.
Apprentices are employees of their organisations, and they earn a minimum salary of £95 per week - many earn considerably more. Apprenticeships can take between one and four years to complete depending on the level of the Apprenticeship, the apprentice’s ability and the industry sector.
Apprenticeships are a popular option for young people and the government is committed to further investment in the future to ensure that more vacancies become available.
More information about apprenticeships is available in the CAREERS section of this website.