Video Production and Digital Media Apprenticeships
Not too long ago, at the age of 16 a portion of pupils would leave school and take up apprentice schemes at the local ship yard or factories. They would then go on to become electricians, plumbers, welders and joiners. With increasing University costs, nowadays it’s not just trades that offer potential apprenticeship opportunities; we are very keen to look at apprenticeship opportunities for video production, social and digital marketing – with a strong emphasis on video as the source medium of course!
Film, Video and Digital Media Opportunities
At the age of 18 another portion of pupils would not carry on their education at university or higher education. They would instead join the bank or building society. There was no prejudice against them because they didn’t go to university. This is why a report from the think-tank Demos makes an unhappy read. Maybe looking a bit harder at what’s available in the job market would be advantageous; there are so many opportunities in the film and TV industry from costume designers to video assist to gaffers and grips; some you will never see advertised, much like I never saw the role of cartographer advertised when I left school but I found out about it by asking lots of questions! We like the young people we see about potential work placements and job placements to ask questions, to show interest in our industry, to have a passion for what they do and be prepared to start at the bottom and learn as they progress – sounds like an apprenticeship?
Everyone from the political boardroom is somewhat agreed that when apprentice schemes were destroyed, the country lost something that was hugely beneficial to the economy and society. Thatcher’s Government started the onslaught. John Major, left school at 16 with 3 O-levels (GCSEs) and became an insurance clerk, didn’t stop with the dismantling. Tony Blair’s “Education, Education, Education” mantra’s subtext was in actual fact university, university, university. A great experience, but not at all necessary for a large segment of the population and actually a waste of time and money! Due to Tony Blair’s mantra as many children as possible had to go to university, because the UK was falling behind in the world qualification rankings and many new universities were opened and school leavers were steered towards attending them.
Cull on soft Degree courses
Nowadays too many children are attending university when they aren’t properly equipped or ready to do a degree course. Some of the courses should also not be taught at degree level. Fortunately, we’ve seen a bit of a cull on the softer degree courses such as cake making and appreciation of television documentaries – but it should go even further, media studies as a degree would be far better taken as an apprenticeship with supported training.
There is now a national shortage of skilled workers, in manufacturing, construction, retailing and in other areas, including video production and creative skillsets. Businesses are complaining that the recruits that they are getting are simply not what they need.
There is now the need to create more apprenticeships. Demos reports that this headlong charge is against the wishes of parents. 92% believe that apprenticeships are a good option. Also, 77% feel the number of young people doing an apprenticeship should be higher.
But only one third believe that an apprenticeship would be right for their son or daughter.
Any study shows that the most successful business figures, those who populate the higher places on rich lists, did not attend university. In the UK they include: Sir Richard Branson, Sir Philip Green, Lord (Stuart) Rose and Lord Sugar. From the US: Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, David Geffen, Steve Jobs and Henry Ford did not go or did not finish university. Other well-known non-graduates include: Jamie Oliver, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney.
The economy is being damaged due to this. Doing an apprenticeship and going it alone was the traditional way to starting a business & making a fortune, sometimes the idea came from being an apprentice and learning the craft.
The notion of university or nothing needs to be broken. Careers advisers at schools have to present apprenticeships in a way that’s attractive to school children so it will be more preferable than going to university and obtaining a degree. And it is happening, slowly but surely. The Government is offering some support to businesses to help with apprenticeship places – one of the concerns that small businesses have with apprenticeship scheme is the red tape that is involved and the sometimes onerous responsibilities that a business needs to shoulder in order to invest in their apprentice. That’s why getting the right person is so important.
Only 19% of parents had been spoken to by schools about apprenticeships, Demos found. Schools should be honest and say whether university would suit a child or not.
Their brightest pupils should also be encouraged to explore different options and to think about learning a skill instead of going to university. Less attention should be placed on the pupils who got in to Oxbridge or other universities and more should be put on those who get apprenticeships.
One way to tell in-built prejudice is by those schools who name the pupils who got in to Oxbridge and discount those in the rest of the year.
Make 2015 the Year of the Apprentice
It says a lot about the country when greater importance is attached to learning than taking the first steps into work and business. With this attitude it’s no wonder that a few children become apprentices and very few go on to become successful risk-takers and fortune-makers. Let’s aim to make 2015 the year of the apprentice and bring back some on the job training which can be used as a firm foundation for future business growth. We’ll be aiming to do our bit and will keep you informed on progress!