Three teenagers got more than expert advice when they visited a Black Country Apprenticeship showcase – they each also netted an iPad.
Training company BCTG which organises the annual Real Apprentice events gave the soon-to-be school leavers the gadgets.
The 16-year-olds were among almost 2,000 young people and their parents who visited the events held recently in Walsall, Wolverhampton, Sandwell and Dudley.
The free showcases were partially funded by World Class Skills. Exhibitors provided interactive ‘Have a Go’ stands, which attracted more than 800 taster sessions over the four events.
The Real Apprentice (TRA) showcases aim to encourage school leavers to consider the many thousands of Apprenticeship places available to them as part of a push to get more young people into employment with training.
Current figures show that in 2011/12 more than 126,300 under 19-year-olds gained an apprenticeship in more than 40 different occupations across the West Midlands.
All three lucky-draw iPad winners say they anticipate going onto Apprenticeships.
Ben Thomas, a Highfields School student, from Merry Hill, Wolverhampton, said he wanted to go onto a Motor Vehicle Apprenticeship.
He said: “The Real Apprentice was worth going to, not just because I won an iPad, but because it had lots of helpful options and practical stands to have a go on.”
His mum Yvonne added: “I am really glad we made the effort and took Ben along to the Wolverhampton Real Apprentice event. There was a lot of very useful information there to help him and us make the right choice for his next step when leaving school.”
Winners Laura Allsop Smith, a student at Aldridge School, and Nathanial Dainty-Share, a Holly Hall School, Dudley, student say they are considering apprenticeships in accounting and construction respectively.
Jo Robb, from BCTG, added: “It’s always a very popular event for Year 11 students and their parents to come along to and learn about the varied Apprenticeship options available to them.
“But our support doesn’t end there. Young people who still want advice and support can get in touch with us to find out about what to do next after leaving school and how best to improve their employment options.”
Anyone who wants to find out more about being a Real Apprentice can call free on 08000 321222 or go to www.apprenticeships.org.uk