This morning (10 March 2015) Business Secretary Vince Cable was joined at Cabinet by 2 young apprentices to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week. Paige McConville and Pallavi Boppana are currently enjoying 2 of the 2.1 million apprenticeships created since 2010 and briefed the Prime Minister and the Cabinet about the day-to-day experiences of their apprenticeships. While addressing Cabinet they suggested how the government can create greater awareness of apprenticeships as entry in to a rewarding career.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said:
These 2 young apprentices made an impressive and powerful case to Cabinet this morning about the attractions of an apprenticeship over an academic route into employment. They were highly articulate and real ambassadors for women pursuing successful careers in science and engineering.
Paige McConville, 16, was confirmed as the 2 millionth apprentice in December 2014 at FMB Oxford. Paige said:
A lot of people are surprised that I’m an engineer, but it shouldn’t matter that I’m a girl. I’m gaining important skills through my apprenticeship and am convincing my friends and tutors that apprenticeships offer a great career for boys and girls. It was really exciting to tell the Cabinet about my experience.
Pallavi Boppana, 20, is about to finish her higher apprenticeship in software engineering at Capgemini and enter her second year at Aston University. Pallavi said:
At first my parents were sceptical but once I told them I could combine on the job learning with formal studying they recognised the value of apprenticeships. The Cabinet were keen to hear about how we can educate teachers, parents and young people about the exciting opportunities available through Higher Apprenticeships.
National Apprenticeship Week runs from 9 to 13 March 2015 to raise awareness of the role apprenticeships play in equipping people of all ages with the skills employers need to grow and compete.
Paige was confirmed as the 2 millionth apprentice in December 2014. Paige is 16 years old and started her engineering apprenticeship in 2014. She works for FMB Oxford, a business employing just over 50 people and making precision scientific instruments. Paige’s father and grandfather were both engineers. Paige is doing her apprenticeship training at nearby Abingdon and Witney College.
Pallavi is 20 years old and started her higher apprenticeship in software engineering at Capgemini in November 2012. Pallavi left school with A-levels in maths, chemistry, physics and photography but chose an apprenticeship over going to university. She was concerned over missing university life, but with the vast apprentice network at Capgemini there has never been a lack of activities. Pallavi is looking forward to graduating from the Higher Apprentice scheme this Friday and stepping onto her degree with Aston University. She will be graduating with a BSC Hons degree in business information systems in 2018.