DORSET County Council is encouraging young people to find out more about on-the-job training, as part of National Apprenticeship Week this week – with an open event taking place tomorrow.

The week, co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service, is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the economy.

Young people are now required to stay in some form of education or learning after they turn 16.

However, this doesn’t mean staying on at school or college and includes on-the-job training such as apprenticeships.

There are more than 250 types of apprenticeships offering more than 1,400 different jobs.

Dorset County Council’s Cabinet member for education Cllr Toni Coombs said: “There are many old-fashioned misconceptions about apprenticeships.

“For example, some people think that they are not taken seriously by employers and are only available in practical trades, such as plumbing, carpentry or hairdressing - but this is not the case.

“More employers are taking on apprentices as they see them as an investment for the future of their company.

“From law to animal care or health services to the arts – there’s a subject out there to suit everyone.”

In January this year 7.5 per cent of 16-18 year olds in Dorset were in a job without accredited training.

But if these young people were on an apprenticeship, they would gain nationally recognised qualifications, have better career prospects and better earning potential, says the council.

Cllr Coombs added: “Apprenticeships give young people the chance to earn while they learn a wage at a pace that is suited to them and, at the end of the course, they will have a qualification that will allow them to climb the ladder or continue studying at college or university.”

Today, parents and young people can attend the free Skills Show Experience at the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC) from 3pm-7pm.

Young people will be able to have a go at a range of work-based activities such as mobile robotics, construction, cooking and web design, plus find out more about apprenticeships.

For more information go to: For more information about apprenticeships, call 08000 150 600 or go to