More than 16,000 young people are expected to visit the first ever National Apprenticeship Show which launched in Milton Keynes today.
There are 100 exhibitors at the two-day event inside arena:mk today and tomorrow where employers, colleges and providers are advising youngsters what apprenticeships can offer.
It was officially opened by the Prime Minister’s apprenticeship adviser Nadhim Zahawi MP.
“The enthusiasm in the room is infectious,” he told the Citizen.
“It is wonderful to be here at this fantastic event.
“I am incredibly impressed and had no doubt that Milton Keynes could pull it off.
“If I could package up the enthusiasm in the room and take it with me around the country then I would be able to beat my target of three million apprenticeship starts by 2020.”
There are more than 12,000 schoolchildren visiting the event, along with 1,600 teachers, and 3,000 parents and carers registered.
Last month Iain Stewart MP for Milton Keynes South told the Prime Minister during PMQ’s that a cultural shift is still needed to demonstrate that high level apprenticeships are an equally valid option for students as traditional university places.
In response David Cameron said: “I think my honourable friend is absolutely right. The careers advice we need to give young people is that there is a choice for every school leaver; we hope either a University place because we have uncapped University Places, or an apprenticeship because we are funding 3 million of them in this parliament, and we need to go on to explain that to become an apprentice doesn’t rule out doing a degree level qualification later on during your apprenticeship.
“The option of earning and learning is stronger in Britain today than it has ever been before.”