In 1999, the Labour government decide a pledge that half of most young people should go on to higher education : an aim that has almost already been achieved. But what about those kids who do not want to go down the particular academic route? The BBC provides met five who have become apprentices in some of Britain’s oldest investments.
Leighann Perry, leatherworker
“There continue to be companies making leather products? inch
This is the response 22-year-old Leighann Perry encounters almost every period she says she works within the leather industry.
The lady developed an interest in the trade right after working at Walsall’s leather art gallery.
“People are always surprised to see me being so younger working here in this industry. Everybody expects me to have an office work or something. ”
Walsall is a town built upon leather and its mark runs by means of it: Saddlers is the nickname for the football team and the shopping center.
Whitehouse Cox has been making leather goods, through wallets to luggage, in the city since 1875.
This offered Leighann a three-year apprenticeship in leatherwork when she has been 18.
Production manager Adrian Harris said the company was “not troubled about A-levels and A grades”.
“People need three issues [to work here], ” he stated. “Common sense, good eyesight, and also to be good with their hands. ”
Leighann, who struggles along with her mental health, said the girl schoolteachers “thought apprenticeships were the waste of time”.
“I was pushed to carry out college because I couldn’t obtain my English grades. I wanted to visit university, but at the time it was not right, ” she said.
“I’m happy doing exactly what I’m doing though. College, 6th form and universities – these kinds of are not the only way. ”
Eddy da Silva, globe-maker
“There’s nothing quite like holding the world within your hands, ” says Eddy de uma Silva, an apprentice globe-maker from Bellerby and Co. in London.
The 24-year-old, who was given birth to in Venezuela but now lives in England’s capital, left a corporate atmosphere to pursue the craft yet said “only a handful of people backed my decision”.
“Having been in an office for two years, producing globes is incomparable. ”
Eddy went to school within the Portuguese island of Madeira, in which the success of a certain local footballer has been as inspiring as the encouragement he or she got from his teachers.
“During this time Cristiano Ronaldo became a superstar, and using a fellow islander make it to that kind of height gave everyone a self-confidence boost, [that] ‘impossible’ was truly two letters too much time, ” he said.
Eddy said he previously always been fascinated by globes but it had been only after he followed Bellerby’s on Instagram, where an apprenticeship in map-making had been advertised, which he turned his interest into a work.
“It continues to be quite surreal, ” he mentioned. “I feel incredibly privileged to become doing something like this. ”
“You just have to have the end goal to seek out unique roles like this and become a bit of a risk-taker. ”
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JoJo Wooden, clog-maker
“Craft is seen as the stupid choice. It’s what you do if you can’t do maths. ”
JoJo Wooden has been making wooden spoons plus clogs since childhood, following taking after the actions of her parents in a industry as old as time.
“As a kid, whittling stays, playing with knives and making elements is something I always did, inch said the 23-year-old, who was raised in Edale in Derbyshire.
“At 18, when I began getting into [woodwork], people believed I was mad. But as they have perhaps to university and their expect the future has gradually dropped away, suddenly it doesn’t seem so poor. ”
At this point based in Birmingham, JoJo is midway through a woodworking apprenticeship with learn clog-maker Jeremy Atkinson and also operates her own spoon-making business.
“Jeremy is still working yet he’s very aware of the fact that your dog is got a very arthritic wrist, your dog is got a bad back, and at several point it’s going to get to the phase where he can’t work any more, inch she said.
The particular crafter believes ancient skills possess a place in the modern world and thinks it is necessary young people are better connected to these types of industries.
“There’s the backlash against throwaway culture, inch she said.
“People want to buy something that’s produced well and going to last, not only a bit of plastic ordered off the web from China that’s going to end up in landfill in a year’s time. ”
George Richards, wheelwright
“I’d like to think Soon we will be a wheelwright for the rest of my life, inch says 20-year-old George Richards.
Five years ago, he requested work experience with Mike Rowland & Son Wheelwrights and Coachbuilders within Colyton, Devon.
He or she was not very academic at college but didn’t have much assist to consider options other than college.
“They weren’t really serious if you weren’t going on to do that, inch he said. “But for some people, [apprenticeships are] the only thing that suits all of them. ”
Mike Rowland and his son Greg are 2 of about 20 master wheelwrights in the nation.
Their organization has a history of making wooden tires for carriages and cannon dating back to to 1331, and counts the particular Queen as one of its customers.
Greg thinks George has become the youngest qualified wheelwright in the world.
When asked what motivated him to choose such a niche business, the apprentice is frank.
“It was nothing related to wheelwrighting [as such], ” he admits that. “It wasn’t something I’d believed I really wanted to do.
“It was just working with the hands, working with wood – We knew I loved that. inch
Zoe Collis, paper maker
Zoe Collis explains working at Two Rivers Papers Company as “the best thing that is ever happened to me”.
The 19-year-old said university was “a lot of pressure” that will caused “anxiety and stopped me personally excelling”.
“My mothers and fathers were adamant I went to university, but I never thought it had been something I wanted to do. I was keen on hands-on stuff. ”
Zoe joined the firm within Watchet, Somerset, which specialises for making watercolour paper for artists. This claims to be the only place in the united kingdom where paper is made from old cloths using water power.
Fourth-generation paper maker Jim Patterson mentors the teenager in his industry.
“I’m getting on, Now i am an old man now and I’d prefer the business to carry on the craft, inch he said. “Having someone youthful encourages us to be thoughtful; it will help us question things. ”
Zoe feels it was the correct move to spurn the more mainstream paths into employment.
“A lot of my friends are miserable simply because they can’t get a job or these people doing something they don’t want to do. We definitely feel better off than that. inch
The apprentice needs to be making paper “probably till I’m pushing up daisies”.
“My future is better now I have this apprenticeship. Before, I had been just seeing dead ends. inch
Training an apprentice for just one time can reduce a craftsperson’s income simply by 20%, according to the Heritage Crafts Organization (HCA).
Money just for training is scarce, says the trustee Greta Bertram, because “funding follows qualifications”, and not enough is completed to encourage students who can thrive in traditional industries.
“There’s virtually no craft profession education in schools, ” the lady said. “And if people normally are not exposed to making, they don’t develop a flavor for it. ”
The Department for Education spokesperson mentioned: “We have 43 apprenticeships within the creative and design category, including traditional craft apprenticeships.
“Schools must allow providers associated with technical education and apprenticeships entry to talk to pupils about their provide. This will help young people to hear about the full-range of options available to them and create an informed choice about their upcoming. ”