Former Framlingham College student, Ben Alcoe (Stradbroke 11-15), recently featured on the BBC’s Politics Live programme. He was a contributor to a topic around whether apprenticeships are accessible enough to young people who decide a university education isn’t for them.

Upon leaving Framlingham after A Levels, Ben felt that university wouldn’t suit him and instead entered an apprenticeship in Business Administration at property company Airsorted. In the clip, Ben says that whilst he accepts degrees are still highly sought after, he doesn’t regret going down the apprenticeship route.

Ben got his apprenticeship through WhiteHat, a company founded two years ago by Euan Blair (the son of former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair) and Sophie Adelman that helps young people gain apprenticeships. WhiteHat are finding that a lot of employers are now dropping the requirement of having a degree when offering employment and are instead now acknowledging apprentices better by seeing the high quality training that is offered whilst also gaining hands-on experience through work at the same time.

Statistics show though, that only 49.8% percent of young people took part in higher education of some sort in 2016/17. The government set itself a target in 2015 of creating 3 million apprenticeships by 2020, but the Institute for Fiscal Studies says that is it still harder to apply for an apprenticeship than it is to apply for a university place and that the government are not doing enough to help young people through the apprenticeship door.

At Framlingham College we have dedicated career days throughout the year for students. This illustrates our championing of diverse and bespoke pathways to a career and in Ben’s case it really does show that, sometimes, it is not all about getting a university education.

Framlingham College Headmaster, Paul Taylor, says: “It was lovely to see Ben featured in this programme and coming over so positively. He is a very bright boy who could quite easily have attended a top university, and his choice of an alternative route illustrates the increasing acknowledgement of the many and diverse pathways that Fram students can access these days. I have little doubt that Ben will go on to a successful and happy career.”

Ben is featured 28 minutes in to the programme. You can view the show until 25th November on the BBC iPlayer here.

Image: Screenshot of BBC Politics Live on BBC iPlayer

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