School launches pre-apprenticeship programme for 14-year-olds

19th September 2016 at 14:14
The programme will offer secondary school students the chance to work in a vocational setting as part of their studies

A unique pre-apprenticeship programme that offers schoolchildren vocational training as part of their curriculum has been launched.

The programme, which blends schoolwork with hands-on training, has been established by North Bromsgrove High School in Worcestershire and local engineering firm ADI, and is believed to be the first of its kind in the country.

A cohort of 12 14-year-old students will spend half a day every week in a specially-designed facility at ADI. They will be supported by lessons in school that make sure the skills they are learning at work are related back to their curriculum in other subject areas.

'Opening people's eyes'

David Hadley-Pryce, headmaster of North Bromsgrove High School, said: “Exposure at a young age opens people’s eyes to what engineering is. We’ve got this strange concept in England that engineers are people with greasy overalls and a monkey wrench, and they probably fix cars. We don’t really understand that everything in our environment is engineered and actually architectural engineering is a fundamental part of our society.

He added: “The key thing that we get from early exposure to a business environment is they start to twig that actually the answer isn’t always going to be ‘yes’. We constantly send out youngsters who have got a great package of GCSEs – but they don’t know how to speak to someone on the telephone, or how to host a meeting. There are a whole host of employability skills that people who work take for granted that our young people don’t have.”

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