Supporting apprentices is increasingly being seen as an important part of strengthening the labour market as a whole with apprenticeships expected to contribute a staggering £3.4 billion to the UK economy by 2022.
If you had told me at the age of 15, when I was given a video camera for my birthday to film my friends rapping, that my passion for music would result in a successful business, then I wouldn't have believed you. Through hard work, great advice and a passion and vision that I stayed true to, SBTV has resulted in me meeting some of the biggest stars from different walks of life in the world and being made an MBE for my services to music.
Looking at the future of our workforce, we are seeing an influx of brilliantly talented young people who are eager to learn and incredibly motivated. Millennials are a powerful generation of workers who show incredible passion and drive.
I still have to pinch myself that at just 20 years old, I've been working here for a year whilst studying for a degree, with the BBC paying my tuition fees. It's a truly unique opportunity within the creative industries, and I feel so lucky to be in a position to learn through hands on experience and from some of the most inspiring people in television.
The first year I applied for an IT apprenticeship with Accenture I didn't get it. Naturally I was upset but I just thought I'm not going to give up, I'm going to go for it again, and it paid off! Now here I am in my second year of the apprenticeship, set to graduate with a foundation degree next summer...
So, my apprenticeship story has been nothing short of a whirl-wind! I've had so many amazing experiences, learnt so many new things and forged friends I'll have for life. I'm going to start from the very beginning, where it all began just a year ago...
Four years ago, when I was in school and pregnant with my daughter, without a clue how to move my future forward or how I was going to support my family - I never thought I would be aiming for the top. I don't see why anyone else can't do that too; move outside your comfort zone, never stop learning - be the best that you can be.
I was just your average school student who passed his GCSEs with Cs and 1 B (Maths) and like many other young people, I left school with university as my vision. When I started college I began to understand more about apprenticeships and the chance to learn and develop skills, while also being paid...
Doing a Higher Apprenticeship in engineering at JCB has changed my life. I work as a design engineer four days a week, and study for an engineering degree one day. I have a salary, no student debt, and the support to pass my degree and become successful within the company.
The generation gap is an open wound which weeps periodically, dependent on the latest national woe. Today, TV reports echo with young voices claiming the oldies have stolen their future. The young are accused of complacency, of lack of interest and low turnout.
My biggest dream in life has always been to compete in the Olympics for Great Britain, and now it's less than 100 days until Rio 2016 and I can't believe it! It's all starting to feel very real for me so I've been reflecting on my journey so far, and I want to start to encourage others to believe that they too can make their dreams a reality.