Training provider QA today ran a first-of-its-kind “clearing hotline” offering apprenticeships to school leavers who might be considering an alternative to university.

The hotline prompted unprecedented demand.

QA Chief Executive William Macpherson said:

“We took over 400 calls by lunchtime and we expect that will have doubled by the end of the day. Apprenticeships are a brilliant alternative to university, and can themselves lead to a degree. 

“Our placements are with big technology firms like Vodafone and Cisco. They offer people a chance to develop world class skills in fields like cybersecurity and software development. Our apprenticeships can pay as much as £400 a week and most of our learners end up being offered permanent jobs in the same firm after their apprenticeship ends.”

UKs first ever clearing hotline for Apprenticeships and alternatives to university opened this A Level results day

Training giant QA is opening the UK’s first of its kind “clearing line” for people who want an alternative to university.

The number for the clearing line is 0345 074 7825.

The clearing line – which opened on A level results day - will give school and college leavers access to over 500 apprenticeships at businesses all across the country, from innovative tech startups to huge tech leaders like Vodafone, Cisco and BT. As well as offering a career from day one, the apprenticeships also lead to higher-level qualifications, equivalent to higher education awards from universities.

QA experts answering the hotline will match callers with a placement in a career that suits them. Among those answering the phones will be careers advisors, plus people who have successfully completed apprenticeships, as well as employers offering apprenticeships.

They will talk about their interests and ambitions before going through all their options. School and college leavers will then be able to agree a placement over the phone in just minutes and start their new job within weeks, all with great employers. 

Ben Pike, managing director at QA, said:

“University isn’t for everyone. A lot of focus on A level results day is on universities and the opportunities they offer. But lots of school and college leavers – and their parents – will be interested in starting a career straightaway, to give it a big kick start and get ahead.

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“Our apprenticeships are a fast route to a brilliant career in sought-after occupations. A level results day is an excellent opportunity for people who want to put their well-deserved exam success to use in work from day one, while also continuing to learn and further their qualifications.

“We wanted to open a hotline to show there are alternatives to university, so people can choose from all their options.”

Jack Parsons 100x100Jack Parsons, CEO of Big Youth Group said:

“University isn’t for everyone. You have options and undertaking an apprenticeship could be that option. The majority of the apprentices at QA earn £200 a week and some on software or cyber apprenticeships earn £400 which is just brilliant”

Apprenticeships are expected to be a major focus of Boris Johnson’s new government. He has made it clear that his ministers should work towards giving more young people the best skills training. New Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is taking charge of this initiative

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