Apprenticeships could offer hope for Lancashire's young in a jobs market made the "tough" by coronavirus

One of Lancashire’s biggest employers said school leavers are facing the “toughest job market since the 2008 recession.”

Wednesday, 10th February 2021, 12:30 pm

BAE Systems said that, with hundreds of thousands of jobs lost due to the pandemic, a survey of young people shows many industries they considered have been deeply impacted.

Some 40 per cent of young people had now put their career plans on hold, and a fifth are now more unclear about their futures.

The research, commissioned by BAE Systems to mark National Apprenticeship Week, showed 63 per cent would consider an apprenticeship.

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Apprenticeships could offer a route for young people in a "tough" job market

Whilst wanting to earn a good salary (41 per cent) topped the chart, jobs that provide stability and routine (30 per cent) and a career that is future-proofed (25 per cent) were also key areas of concern.

Richard Hamer, education and skills director at BAE, said: “It’s clear that currently, the path for young people looking to enter the job market is extremely tough. The ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic are far reaching and have left students with greater uncertainty about their future.

"That’s why it’s important that those of us who can, must continue to create new opportunities for young people, working hand in hand with the government and wider industry, to make available options known to young people.

“Apprenticeships play a significant role, providing people with the necessary skills to work in highly specialised and technical industries. Through on-the-job learning of practical skills, the opportunity to work alongside industry professionals and the provision of support at every step of their training, apprenticeships can offer an entry into a long-term and successful career.”

Ben Marson, director of partnerships at The Prince’s Trust, said: “The pandemic continues to negatively affect young people’s employment prospects. At The Prince’s Trust, we know from our own research the impact unemployment can have on young people’s mental health and overall future.

"Our recent Youth Index report found that 60 per cent of young people say that getting a new job feels "impossible now" because there is so much competition and 23 per cent saying they don’t feel confident about their future work.

"It is absolutely crucial that we work with our corporate partners like BAE Systems to provide opportunities for young people to gain the skills and confidence for work, so they do not lose hope for their future.”

Louise Fairclough, a first year chartered management degree apprentice with BAE Systems, said: “I joined the Company in January, having gone through the virtual recruitment process.

"I would recommend doing an apprenticeship, both to school and college leavers as well as anyone thinking about retraining. There are a wealth of opportunities provided right from the get-go and I have received a huge amount of support from the company."

Applications for apprenticeships at the firm are open until Sunday, February 28.

For more information about BAE Systems' early careers opportunities or apprenticeships, visit: baesystems.com/earlycareers.