By Ben Simmons

With National Apprenticeship Week underway, a comprehensive ‘Apprenticeship and Vocational Training Guide’ has been produced by; created to advise young people on the alternative choices to university available to them, when leaving secondary education.

The guide, available for free download at, offers advice on how and where to find apprenticeships and vocational training; as well as highlighting the benefits of entering into vocational schemes, instead of attending higher education. The guide also includes a foreward from Sir Alex Ferguson, who was an apprentice himself, discussing the importance of apprenticeships for UK businesses.

With University fees rising and attendance now more expensive than ever, higher education simply isn’t a viable option for thousands of school, college or sixth form leavers. As such, the ‘Apprenticeship and Vocational Training Guide’ is created annually to highlight the range of vocational options around; emphasising the benefits of heading straight into career training after leaving secondary education, for young people who may be confused about their future options.

The guide discusses what benefits there are of not going to university and choosing a vocational path instead, as well as outlining exactly what an apprenticeship scheme involves and the different types available. It also focuses on the apprenticeship scene in nine different regions around the UK, giving school leavers a full picture of what types of apprenticeships are available to them in their local area.

The freely downloadable guide also gives unbiased advice on how best to get an apprenticeship, and includes case studies of young people who have achieved success through apprenticeship schemes with various companies around the UK. These include case studies of school leavers who undertook successful apprenticeships at Unilever, British Gas and the AAT.

The guide was created to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week, taking place from 6th-10th February 2012. was founded in 2008, and is now the UK’s leading website for school and college leavers seeking advice on what to do upon leaving school. The site currently features over 6000 opportunities for those choosing not to go into higher education, and helps young people make informed decisions about their future careers.

Spencer Mehlman, Managing Director of, is keen to help young people who may feel confused, or uninformed, about the wide range of career options available to them, as an alternative to higher education:

“Unfortunately, recent rises in University fees mean that it’s more expensive than ever for young people to enter into higher education; and for many, these rises have meant that University simply isn’t an option. We’re keen to stress that not going to uni really isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and, in fact, apprenticeships can be a much better option for many school leavers keen to set their foot on the career ladder.”

“There are thousands of apprenticeships available for school leavers in all types of industries around the UK, and we want to offer succinct and unbiased advice for those who may feel confused about their options. The guide aims to give young people a ‘one stop shop’ for all their questions surrounding apprenticeships, and help them make important decisions about what to do once they leave school. University isn’t for everyone, and learning on the job can be a great way to get your foot on the career ladder ‘earning as you learn’; as opposed to racking up huge University debts.”

The ‘Apprenticeship and Vocational Training Guide’ from contains unbiased advice and an array of case studies aimed at showing school or college leavers some of the wide range of alternatives to university; with particular emphasis on work-based ‘vocational’ training and practical advice on how to find a job.

Join us on
Follow @freshbusiness