UP to 1,600 apprenticeships are available in Devon as young people decide what to do next after receiving their GCSE and A Level results, according to figures from the National Apprenticeship Service.
The number of vacancies available on apprenticeships.org.uk varies from day to day, with the number recorded nationally in the last three months peaking at 20,615.
The popularity of vocational training contracts has continued to grow since National Apprenticeship Week in March, which featured events including an apprenticeships fair at Sandy Park in Exeter organised by Devon County Council.
Bovis Homes is looking to extend its successful apprenticeship scheme into Exeter as it continues to build houses at the new town of Cranbrook. The company has recently opened a new office in Exeter to support the growth of its operations in Devon and the South West, and is keen to offer employment opportunities to talented and committed young people.
"Our South West region already has a thriving apprenticeship scheme which is operating productively across Gloucestershire and Bristol," said David Farley, deputy managing director for the region.
"We're delighted to give them a chance within our business and eventually we will be looking to recruit future managers and even directors as they develop within the company and continue to show the right attitude. This is something I'm keen to develop in our new area of operations in Devon and surrounding counties and we will be looking to work with local training organisations to place young people in the business and give them that first leg up the career ladder."
The on-site apprenticeships include opportunities within carpentry, bricklaying and plumbing, and there are also office-based administrative roles.
Bovis Homes holds an annual awards ceremony where the top performing young people receive prizes. This year it was held at Cheltenham racecourse and saw both on-site and office-based apprentices recognised by an audience of staff and sub-contractors.
David said: "The awards showcase the efforts of our apprenticeships and I hope in the future we will have young people from the Exeter area playing a full part in them and landing the top awards."
With a recent survey showing 54 per cent of young people in England would want to do an apprenticeship if one were available – and figures from youth website Not Going To Uni showing 71 per cent of employers would recommend young people do an apprenticeship – it's a busy time for the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS).
David Way, executive director of NAS, said: "The good news is that with ever more apprenticeships, there is an increasing range of high quality options available to young people.
"This summer we're expecting that the number of young people applying for an apprenticeship could hit a new high."
A host of information films and guidance for potential applicants and employers can be found online at apprentice.tv.
The National Careers Service can be contacted free on 0800 100 900 or online at nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk.