THOUSANDS of young people from London, Birmingham and Manchester had the chance to find out more about career opportunities as three cities in eight days featured in the first ever Festival of Apprenticeships.
Some of the biggest names in business in the UK took part along with many public and third sector employers.
Sectors covered ranged from construction, to hospitality, health and beauty, banking and financial services, health care, IT, as well as engineering and technology.
Public sector employers taking part included the NHS, BBC, Royal Navy and police force.
With two stages at all three events there was also an opportunity to listen to a wide range of talks and presentations.
The festival opened the bowling at the Oval cricket ground in London on Thursday, June 30 before moving to Manchester on Monday, July 4 where Manchester Metropolitan University was the venue.
It was Millennium Point in Birmingham that staged the third event on Friday, July 8.
The man who came up with the idea is Safaraz Ali, chief executive of the Pathway Group, a training provider, that also runs the Multicultural Apprenticeship Awards.
As well as employers, training providers and accreditation bodies also took part in the festival events.
Exhibitors at all three events found themselves swamped at times with young people hungry for information.
“One of the objectives was the give the young people an insight into the range of apprenticeships that are available and how ‘earn as you learn’ can be a valuable alternative to the tradition university route,” said Mr Ali.
“Apprenticeships are available across a huge range of sectors, are open to men and women and are not just for young people but provide opportunities for older people who are perhaps looking for a qualification or a career transition.”
They are available from key stage two up to degree level.
The Festival of Apprenticeships is organised by Pathway Group and run by its subsidiary organisation Thinkfest. Headline sponsor was JP Morgan supported by LSBU (London South Bank University (LSBU), Manchester Metropolitan University, Aston University, Travis Perkins, EY with careermap the official media partner.