Politicians Need to Raise Awareness of Apprenticeships

11/03/2014 11:22 GMT | Updated 10/05/2014 10:59 BST

Ed Miliband has realised that he is still in charge of the Labour Party and has consequently extended an already existing policy that would be implemented should Labour win the next general election in 2015; the jobs guarantee scheme would give 18 to 24-year-olds out of work for over a year a 6 month job courtesy of the taxpayer.

So this is all jolly good for at least two reasons: Firstly, the Labour Party are finally getting the knack of policy making so might even have half a manifesto ready by next year; secondly, it should theoretically help to tackle the problem of youth unemployment, an issue which the current coalition government has failed to overcome.

But what if there was an easier way? Well, as luck would have it, I think I might have found a way to reduce youth unemployment and save Labour £5.5bn; the solution is apprenticeships.

Now I'm well aware that apprenticeships have already been invented but when the recession hit there were harrowing stories all over the media that people had about as much chance of getting an apprenticeship as Piers Morgan has got of winning the World's Strongest Man competition. This dour news then spread to schools who subsequently gave out a similar message that finding an apprenticeship was like trying to find a piece of hay in a massive stack of needles.

I, along with many of my friends and students across the UK, believed that these reports were true and therefore decided to take the only other realistic option available which was to study A-Levels. This turned out to be a terrible mistake.

Apprenticeships assure that you earn some skills relevant to the type of work you have chosen so that you can stay on doing that job and work your way up the pay and power ladder. A-Levels do not assure this. You might work really hard to earn some fantastic qualifications but be prevented from getting your dream job due to a lack of skills. It's the generic Facebook status 'need experience to get a job but need a job to get experience' actually shown as being true.

If apprenticeships were plugged more effectively, allowing every school student in the UK to be aware of the potential these work-based schemes have, unemployment would be less of a concern because pupils would go straight from school and into a career that they'd stay with for many years to come. We'd also have a more highly skilled workforce, attracting a greater number of different companies and industries to Britain, just like all the politicians want so as to enable a successful economic recovery.

It should be made clear, as well, that apprenticeships are not simply for careers involving engineering or mechanics (a common misconception) but are available for a huge range of different jobs; chances are that if your ideal job is being a butcher, a baker or a chemical weapons tester there is an apprenticeship out there for you.

So, Ed Miliband, I have created a far more efficient policy for you to use; the publicity of apprenticeships! Naturally, it doesn't have to be Ed Miliband who develops this idea - so long as somebody showcases the usefulness of apprenticeships any politician should endorse this plan.