Early Careers Network Springpod is proud to announce the launch of Classroom To Boardroom, the first-ever apprentice chat-show series celebrating a group of young apprentices from London and Greater London working at some of the UK’s leading employers. 

Launching for National Apprenticeship Week, ‘Classroom To Boardroom’ explores the world of apprenticeships, through real-life success stories of apprentices working at leading organisations such as Nestle, Accenture, Pret, Jaguar Land Rover, JLL, EY, Capgemini, Fujitsu, Direct Line Group and ICAEW.

From hospitality to real estate, the number of apprenticeships is on the rise. Springpod’s brand new chat show finds out what it’s like to be an apprentice working for household names.

According to a recent survey published by Springpod (surveying 1,500 secondary school students), 70% of students’ concerns about getting a job could be mitigated by employers, and apprenticeships are the solution.

In this series, apprentices share the inside scoop on a wide range of industries, offering interview tips that could get young people hired. The apprentices also take it in turns to bust the ugly myths surrounding apprenticeship stigmas, giving a fresh take on a new generation of trailblazing young apprentices.

The recurring theme across all episodes is that apprenticeships are in fact not less regarded than a university degree - with a Level 7 apprenticeship being equivalent to a Masters degree. 

Apprenticeships offer a debt-free, ‘study and earn while you work’ alternative approach. 100% of apprentices featured confirmed that they are equipped with the skills needed to flourish in both their professional and personal lives - something which a degree at university does not offer.

Classroom To Boardroom shows corporate giants in a new light. From speaking with the apprentices, we learn that the leading firms featured are more than just a corporate company, encouraging diversity and inclusivity - promoting gender balance and inclusivity across LGBT and ethnic minority communities.

In the episode, Ekansh, a Digital and Technology Solutions apprentice at Accenture recalls how when he left school “the stigmas surrounding apprenticeships still very much existed. If you were studying traditional A-levels nobody talked to you about an apprenticeship, it was reserved for people doing BTECs. I still remember being told by a teacher that I was wasting my time and that an apprenticeship won’t get you anywhere.”  However, the apprenticeship ensures he will graduate debt-free with a bachelors of science BSc, as well as having several years of experience under his belt and earning a competitive salary straight out of school. 

Jonathan, who obtained a surveyor apprenticeship at JLL said: “the firm I work for is very inclusive and diverse - I set up an initiative to help prospective and current first-year apprentices. We assign mentors in the second and third year to look after them.” The real-estate giant was the first of its kind to make Stone Wall’s top 100 list of LGBT inclusive employers. “Within the company, there is also a Building a Better Tomorrow initiative that transforms the real-estate industry with a greater, positive impact,” Jonathan concluded. 

Sumail Randhawa, working on a business tax apprenticeship at EY, spoke highly of the company’s support during the initial stages of his transition from school to full-time employment: “It was smooth. There’s a clear regimented scheme where time is split into ‘blocks’ - with set times designated to work and studying whilst also balancing a social life. Undertaking a proactive role where you’re introduced to new people of all levels is just one of the perks.”

Danielle Nelder, a second-year Digital and Technology Solutions apprentice at Capgemini discussed the interchangeable role: “What I learned is that although you take up a role you might not have preferred, you’ll pick up skills quickly and there’s scope to venture onto new projects within different roles.”

The featured apprentices urge young people who are considering alternatives to university to watch Classroom To Boardroom and see for themselves what apprenticeships have to offer. 

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