(Photograph) - Industrial revolution: Apprenticeships are heading for a renaissance thanks to a Pounds 1.29 billion Government initiative to bring 150,000 youngsters back into industry by the end of the decade.
The money, available for modern apprenticeships and youth credits over the next three years, is intended to raise the status of vocational training as an alternative to A levels. Sheffield is a focus for the new scheme. Keith Davie, chief executive of Sheffield TEC and a former apprentice, said: "The TEC movement played a leading role in lobbying the Government to introduce new style apprenticeships and in Sheffield we have developed the initiative for the steel industry, one of 16 sectors chosen as a pilot scheme."
Mr Davie said the TEC was responsible for the quality control of modern apprenticeships in a bid to overcome "haphazard practices". Phil Kenning, an apprentice 36 years ago with steel firm Sanderson Kayser, is now guiding Shaun Hudson (pictured left) and Leigh Ogley (right) beginning modern apprenticeships with the same company.
"I am delighted apprenticeships are making a comeback," he said. "They are a tried and tested means of integrating academic learning with hands-on experience."