BUSINESS-minded Wyre Forest students were among 150 who attended a Real Apprentice Fair at County Hall in Worcester.

They went from King Charles I School, Stourport High School and Sixth Form Centre, Wolverley CE Secondary School and the Bewdley School and Sixth Form Centre along with others from Haybridge High School, in Hagley.

The trip was organised by the ContinU partnership of High Schools, which took a small fleet of buses, sponsored by Bewdley IT company TDM Ltd, to the fair on Friday, February 10.

At the event, part of the National Apprenticeship Week celebrations, the young people met exhibitors, companies and working apprentices from industries and professions, including business, IT, creative media, engineering and education.

“The strong turnout from partner schools is a good indicator of the growing interest in apprenticeships as an attractive option for school-leavers,” said Michael Conroy-Harris, coordinator of The ContinU Trust's Opening Doors Programme, which coordinates joint enrichment activities across the Wyre Forest and Hagley schools.

“Nationally we're seeing a sizeable drop in university applications and at the same time there's an increasingly pragmatic and appealing career pathway within apprenticeships emerging – all kinds of young people should see what is on offer,” he added.

Sponsors TDM Ltd, who were also exhibiting at the fair, sent some of their NVQ level three computing apprentices on the buses with the students to talk about their apprenticeships as well as to promote a bespoke web-design competition the company is running for local students throughout February, with the prize of an Android tablet.

Stuart Arch, lead teacher and head of sixth form at King Charles I High School, in Kidderminster, which sent nearly 70 students, said: “Our students are very keen to investigate the wide range of apprenticeships that are available in such areas as retail, business, public services, ICT and the arts, the choice is wide and varied.”