Nathalie received a phone call on Monday night offering her an apprenticeship place, starting this summer, at a local children's nursery, part of her ambition to achieve a recognised qualification in childcare. No sooner had she put the phone down, having made arrangements to attend a second interview today and go through the usual identity and security checks, than the phone rang - it was another nursery offering her an apprenticeship etc.
She had attended two preliminary interviews during half term week back in February but neither nursery were allowed to offer a place until April.
I was talking to a client a while back about apprenticeships and the fact that the pay is so low - even lower than minimum wage - and he said that the alternative way to look at it was that students were being paid for attending college. That's fine of course providing that the apprentice is given something meaningful to do during their employment, there are too many stories out there of young people finding themselves sweeping floors, making tea and filing and not receiving too much in the way of 'training' for a recognised professional qualification.