Apprenticeships are a viable option under the new RPA regulations – #apprenticeships

Raising the Participation Age (RPA) and why Apprenticeships are a viable option – #apprenticeships.

Many parents and young people are mis-informed about the Raising the Participation Age (RPA) regulations when they come fully into play this summer, leaving some to believe compulsory education has been extended to 18.  This is not the case.  The regulations are being put in place to ensure our young people have opportunities available to them to increase their skills, knowledge and employablility.   The options are:

–          Staying on at school

–          Going to collegeapprentice

–          Going to university

–          Participating in a vocational ‘Study programme’ with a training provider, school or college

–          Working in a job as an apprentice

–          Working in a job with formal training attached

In the latest edition of the new ‘Apprenticeship Magazine’, London Mayor, Boris Johnson, says “Everyone wins with an apprenticeship”.  He’s referring to the boom in take up of apprenticeship places by young people and is urging all businesses to get on-board as apprenticeships help firms to build loyal workforces and increase their productivity.    For young people, especially those affected by the new RPA rules and those that feel staying on at school is not the right option for them, apprenticeships give them the opportunity to improve their skills and employability and set them on the right path of forging successful long-term careers.

Apprenticeship_Employers_BadgeIn the April 2013 edition of the CIPD’s ‘People Management’ magazine, their article ‘You’re hired: making stars of apprentices’ says poor careers advice means school-leavers and young people affected by the RPA regulations are missing out on the benefits of apprenticeships.  They go on to say that it’s not enough to convince employers apprenticeships are a good idea, schools and employers need to reach out to parents and make sure they and their children have enough information about alternatives to staying on at school or going to university.  Not enough parents and children are informed about the apprenticeship options and they seem to have very little advice and guidance about the options available to them under the RPA regulations.

So in a nutshell, the Raising the Participation Age (RPA) regulations say that all young people under the age of 18 must be actively participating in education and training but this does not mean compulsory education.      Apprenticeships are a viable option and are available across a wide scope of career choices – check them out at

Here at ITEC, we have nearly 30 years experience in providing vocational training for young people.  We also offer job search for our apprentices, helping them with the hard work of finding that all important first job.   Some of our employers have generations of ITEC learners and today’s apprentices are being trained by yesterday’s successful learners.    Check out our apprenticeship opportunities at    Over the next few blogs I will case study some successful ITEC apprentices and tell you their stories …. Watch this space!

ITEC Beach Ball Photo Competition 2013

LLLBB2  ITEC launches its first Beach Ball Photo Competition!





We have used ITEC Beach Balls for a couple of years now as marketing ‘gizzits’ and on a couple of occasions we have been sent  photos of these baIMG_0011lls on their travels!   This got our juices going!  What a great idea for a competition!


So to celebrate our 30th Anniversary next February, we have launched an ITEC Beach Ball pics competition which will run from now until 31st December 2013.   We haven’t decided on all the prizes and categories yet as we are really keen to see what everyone comes up with.   We’ve come up with most exotic location, most family-friendly pic, furthest travelled and best picture.   Have you any suggestions for categories?

The same with prizes.   We came up with Kindles, iPad minis, etc., but as technology is always changing there may be something more up to date on the market next February when we will be judging the winners.   What would make a good prize?

861441_10151752007177388_882097091_o   So I set about creating a poster and took a pic of the balls in our reception area!  Not really exciting but a starting point.

I wasn’t satisfied, though, I wanted something a bit more exciting, and a bit more inspirational, to stimulate some interest.



A couple of weeks before Easter, I was vacationing in Las Vegas (where the temperatures were in the 80’s and the sun glistens on the hotel pool, better than this constant British winter freeze we’ve been stuck with – yes, I digress, I know, but it was heaven – it may be April but it’s snowing outside here in Basildon!)  and as you walk along Las Vegas Boulevard admiring all the hotels, the lights and the ‘wildlife’, there are lots of characters to meet and have your picture taken with.   There’s Spiderman, Batman, Mickey, Minnie, Woody, Buzz Lightyear, et al, and even SpongeBob SquarePants!  Great, but just not showbizzy enough, afterall I was in Las Vegas, home of the original Show Girl!

Then on the corner by the beautiful fountains of the Bellagio I met Kelsey and Sydni, 2 lovely Las Vegas ladies who were happy to hold my beach balls!   LLLBB1

I think these are picture perfect and I hope they inspire you all to get out there and get snapping!

If you haven’t got a beach ball yet contact us and get hold of one by either calling on 01268 286929 or emailing – they come in ITEC Blue and IT Girls Pink!


Once you have your photo, you can either

– post it on our Facebook page –, or

– email it to me at

Remember, you have all summer (when it finally arrives – keep the faith!) as the competition doesn’t close until 31st December.

Good luck