Hundreds of teenagers flocked to a Walsall careers roadshow where they got the chance to sign up for apprenticeships.
The annual event held at Banks’s Stadium attracted more than 40 training providers able to advise this year’s school leavers about apprenticeship options.
Councillor Adrian Andrew, Walsall Council’s cabinet member for Regeneration, toured the popular event meeting current apprentices and having a go at some of the skills on offer.
The aim of the free showcase, which has also been held in Wolverhampton, Sandwell and Dudley, is to encourage this year’s 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.
The Real Apprentice showcase is organised by apprenticeship experts BCTG, based in Oldbury supported by World Class Skills who are provided interactive ‘have a go’ stands.
Councillor Andrew said: “ This is a fantastic event and Walsall Council is delighted to support young people into work through our scheme Walsall Works.”
Through Walsall Works109 young people have started apprenticeships in the borough.
Current regional 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.
Former Walsall Academy student Jordan O’Brien, 18, from Bloxwich, said she was getting the most out of her apprenticeship at Leamore firm Swatkins.
She said: “I am working as an invoicing clerk and office assistant. I really enjoy going to work and it has really boosted my self-confidence.”
Chris Luty, BCTG director, said: “We have been running The Real Apprentice showcases for many years now and each year we find more and more young people are coming through the doors because they realise the value in getting good training alongside employment.”