*This article was first published on the 5th of March 2019 in the Edinburgh Evening News newspaper*

This week is Modern Apprenticeship Week, a great opportunity to showcase all the opportunities available to young people to gain a skill or trade.

Last year, I spent the day at Brakesafe garage on the Southside, where a super patient and attentive apprentice showed me how to strip and service a car. He even let me take the wheels off and drain the oil. I can assure the car’s owner that everything was double and triple checked before that car was returned to you!

This year, I spent it at the Punjabi Junction on Leith walk were two apprentices showed off their cooking skills to me. I’ve been here before, trying and failing to make chapatis. No matter how often I’ve tried it at home, I just don’t have the flair to get them to puff up in the middle. Plus throwing them on to an open flame at the end of the process to “crisp them up” had an altogether different outcome in my flat.

It just goes to show how wide and varied the opportunities for young people are.  Increasingly, young people leaving school are choosing an apprenticeship over a university course. They get paid whilst they do it and the chances of getting a job at the end of it all feel greater than a university degree does these days.

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