By Daniel Hunter

The fifth annual National Apprenticeship Week is about to begin. It is organised by the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), runs from 6th to 10th February and looks set to be the biggest and best yet.

There are more than 500 events and activities planned across England, showcasing the talents, skills and commitment of apprentices to employers, teachers, parents, the general public and the media.

“At the Financial Skills Partnership, the financial sector’s skills council, we are well aware of the benefits that apprentices bring to business," Liz Field, FSP’s CEO, commented.

"Long gone are the days when apprentices could only be found in a blue-collar setting. Apprenticeships are already being used successfully in accountancy and in financial services. Now new-type higher apprenticeships will be opening up exciting new paths into the UK’s financial sector.

“The current climate is far from rosy for young people today. Against a background of high youth unemployment, rising student fees and falling university applications, we are spreading the word that higher apprenticeships offer talented, ambitious and dedicated young people excellent alternative pathways into many of the professions involved. These allow them to obtain knowledge-based higher qualifications, while at the same time gaining invaluable on-the-job experience and earning a wage.

“Young people can find out about the opportunities available through FSP’s online careers portal ‘Directions’, which offers independent careers information on the financial sector including job profiles of most of the sector’s major roles, and links to employers currently offering work placements, internships and apprenticeships, as well as graduate traineeships.”

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