Hands-on skills are an integral part of the day job for these young people from NETA Training Group and Stockton Riverside College.
But when it comes to the demands of their trades, their careers couldn’t be more different, as the teams discovered when they took part in a job swap to mark National Apprenticeship Week.
Engineering apprentices from NETA Training were put to the test when they tried their hand at cutting and styling hair, while barbering students from Stockton Riverside College donned overalls and were introduced to some of the basics of the workshop.
“The aim of today’s event was to bring apprentices and students together to share their experiences and offer an insight into each other’s trades,” said David Thompson, NETA’s strategic business development co-ordinator.
By bringing together two contrasting industries, such as engineering and barbering, he said it highlights the wide variety of opportunities that exist and can also help to dispel traditional industry stereotypes.
David said: “Traditionally there has been a lower take-up of females in engineering apprenticeships and looking at sectors such as barbering there has been a similar problem. We need to encourage diversity by promoting these careers to all.”
A former apprentice himself he explained: “At NETA Training we understand that an apprenticeship is a great grounding for any young person and offers an opportunity to use those skills across a wide range of industrial sectors.”
In its 11th year National Apprenticeship week runs from Monday 5 to Friday 9 March and is designed to celebrate the positive impact of apprenticeships and traineeships.
This year’s theme is Apprenticeships Work, putting the spotlight on how apprenticeships work for individuals, employers, local communities and the wider economy.
Nicola Templeman, Stockton Riverside College’s programme area leader for service industries, said: “The job swap at NETA offered a fun way to raise awareness of the different types of apprenticeships and provision that are available.
“All of our learners enjoyed being able to share what they have learnt and showcase their skills while also having a go at something completely new and different.”
NETA Training and Stockton Riverside College work with employers from a wide range of sectors to offer apprenticeship opportunities.
Nicola said: “The underpinning knowledge and practical skills learners achieve on an apprenticeship prepares them for a successful future.
“For employers who take on an apprentice, it can be an investment in the future of their company.”