Top Tech boss makes the case why all students should consider Apprenticeships
8 March 2018
This article is a part of our Skills Young People Need for Work in 2030 campaign, with the i newspaper, helping share what skills leaders of today think are going to be the top ways young people can prepare for the careers of tomorrow. Be sure to follow #Skills2030 to see their top advice over March.
More pupils should consider apprenticeships when they leave school and be discouraged from regarding the option as “in any way second class”, an industry leader has said. Christine Hodgson, chairman of technology services firm Capgemini UK, told pupils at King Solomon Academy in Marylebone, London, that apprenticeships could be a “fantastic alternative” to going to university. Ms Hodgson told a group of girls aged between 11 and 18 that they did not need to know exactly what they wanted to do and should instead focus on gaining transferable skills.
“I’m a boss in a technology company, even though I’m not a technologist – that doesn’t matter,” she told the pupils. “What you’re going to find is it’s a very fast-changing world in which we live – you don’t need to know today exactly what you’re going to do for the rest of your career.
“What you do need is to get some skills in your armoury so whatever you choose to do, you can adapt.”
Ms Hodgson, 53, was talking to the secondary pupils as part of the Speakers for Schools programme, which was founded in 2011 by ITV political editor Robert Peston. The charity aims to provide state school pupils with access to influential people and has teamed up with i for its Skills 2030 campaign.
She discussed Capgemini’s degree apprenticeship programme, in which apprentices work at the company and gain a degree in digital and technology solutions after four and a half years.
“There are other very good companies that offer apprenticeships as well,” she told the pupils. “I know many of you will consider university but also consider apprenticeships because they are a great alternative – they are not in any way second class, not at all.”
Ms Hodgson, who also chairs the Careers and Enterprise Company, was joined at the talk by Capgemini apprentice Priyal Bhanderi, 18, and software engineer Darren Saram, 22. Mr Saram – who left university after 18 months to join the degree apprenticeship scheme – said he had no regrets as his new path was debt-free and offered “the best of both worlds”.
Speaking to i, Ms Hodgson said that in her own school days careers advice was a case of “going into a hut at lunchtime and picking out pamphlets”. She said she loved going into schools to “demystify” the workplace and that it was important to do so because a lot of young people were unaware of the scale of available opportunities.
“There’s lots of information online but actually that is just overwhelming, they can get dizzy trying to navigate their way through that. “Of course we are only going to give them a flavour but it’s increasing curiosity and that’s a good thing.”
See how you can follow along with our #Skills2030 theme here: https://www.speakers4schools.org/get-involved-teachers/
Our Skills 2030 campaign will continue with more speakers across the UK. Keep up with the coverage of this talk series here.