Lancashire apprentice represents UK at European Parliament

Tech apprentice Satveer Kaur-Singh, 22 from Lancashire, has been flying the flag for apprenticeships at the European Parliament in Brussels as she was invited to contribute to a debate with the European Commissioner for employment, parliamentarians, and industry heads.

satveer-2This is a key event for the Alliance for YOUth movement, as they have pledged to double youth training and job opportunities by 2020, and drive youth employment, by providing concrete job opportunities for young people.

Kaur-Singh, who is currently on a QA Apprenticeship programme with employer AXA Insurance, said: "Doing an apprenticeship gives you the chance to gain qualifications and earn a salary at the same time. My parents were very supportive but we didn’t know much about apprenticeships, so were unsure if I was making the right decision. I am so glad that I took this route, and now I don’t have any student debt hanging over me.”

AXA Insurance is one of the partner organisations of Alliance for YOUth, one of 200 organisations from 23 European countries engaged with the scheme, all sharing a mission to reduce youth unemployment by providing meaningful career opportunities.

The event involved the European Commissioner for Employment, Marianne Thyssen, who said: “The Alliance for Youth shows how investing in youth is also good for business. I am very pleased that it is stepping up its efforts with a new commitment under the European Alliance for Apprenticeships to offer 230,000 new placements to young people in Europe to secure their first foothold in the labour market. These alliances are making good headway to boost the employability of young people through quality apprenticeship and work opportunities.”

Ben Pike, QA apprenticeships managing director said: “Satveer is a fantastic example of how an apprenticeship can transform the life of a young person, who is able to learn and earn at the same time, whilst building valuable contacts and working for a highly supportive organisation, like AXA Insurance. Our core mission is to bring talent into our clients’ organisations training them in tech, business skills, and project management so that they can perform well within our clients’ teams.”

92% of QA’s apprentices end up in full-time employment after their apprenticeship ends. This contrasts significantly to university graduates in areas of tech. The recent government ‘Digital Skills Crisis’ report stated that 13% of Computer Science graduates were out of work for 6 months or more after finishing their degree. The apprenticeships format is highly effective for both employers and young people. Darrell Sansom, AXA, said “We feel extremely proud of our apprentice Satveer to be asked to the European Parliament, to get her voice heard. Apprentices are such an important part of our business, because young people bring ideas driven by the experience of growing up in the digital era. They add a unique dimension to our teams, and ecosystem. We can only recommend apprentices to other organisations within the UK.”