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Future Voices: Don't dismiss local career options in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 October 2016

Lotus apprentices work on car

Lotus apprentices work on car

Archant

Norfolk may be stereotyped as a quiet place for retirees. However, it is actually bursting with careers and opportunity.

Lotus apprenticesLotus apprentices

Hethel-based car manufacturer Lotus, although a multinational company, hasn’t forgotten its Norfolk heritage, and encourages young people to join its ranks.

Last year, it launched its largest apprenticeship scheme yet: 25 young people were recruited to work across all divisions of manufacturing, including the paint shop and the vehicle assembly team. This is ideal for those with an interest in car manufacturing, and offers excellent potential career growth.

The NHS services in Norfolk also offer a wide range of future careers, from nursing to administrative services. As a major employer in the county, there are always opportunities, including apprenticeships, waiting to be snapped up. Working for the NHS and contributing to the country’s health care clearly provides incredible satisfaction, as, in a 2015 NHS survey, 74pc of staff said they were enthusiastic about their job.

However, a large emphasis is now placed on grades and prestigious university places, often meaning careers advice is an afterthought.

Ofsted’s chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, has criticised headteachers in the past for giving “selfish” careers advice so students may go onto sixth form - meaning schools receive more per-student funding - instead of venturing into apprenticeships like those at Lotus and the NHS.

Chloe Gascoigne - an apprentice digital marketer at Norwich-based magazine The Student Pocket Guide - says she chose the apprenticeship route to feel like she was “always moving forward; earning, learning, and working”.

On working in Norwich, Chloe said: “It’s one of the nicest cities around. I have everything and everyone I need right here.”

She said she experienced Wilshaw’s so called “selfish” advice herself, saying: “I think we were definitely encouraged to go to university over doing an apprenticeship.”

This is a real shame as young people, like Chloe, are starting their future careers early, positively and going forth into growth and opportunity - revelling in the fantastic careers that Norfolk offers.

To find out more about the apprenticeship route in Norfolk, see www.apprenticeshipsnorfolk.org, @AppsNorfolk on Twitter, or Apprenticeships Norfolk Network on Facebook.

Alex Caesari, 18, Norwich

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