4 February 2016

It has been an extraordinary week so far.

app day 2

A group of apprentices meet Aaron and the team in a workshop yesterday.

Yesterday was hugely inspiring to see so many passionate young people taking active steps to come back from the terrible circumstances of the Bright Future collapse.

I believe that apprentices are the brave ones. Apprentices are the kids that have looked at the routes of university and college – that teachers and parents often push them along to – and taken their own path. They chose to be an apprentice, to learn a trade on the job, and to be ’23 and debt free’ as the apprenticeship service pegs it.

So, to be part-way through this journey and find that they have suddenly lost their role must be devastating.

Yesterday, we brought these young people together with some of Manchester’s brightest businesses to see what we can do to help as a community.

Whilst we may have initiated the day, it was incredible to see how many of the city’s firms came along – from Magma Digital to Urban Splash – all offering opportunities, networking and advice. Manchester is an extraordinary place!

Scott Fletcher, ANS boss, and I took to the stage – for the first time together – to tell our stories too. Scott had hit similar times along his journey, and my route to where we are now certainly wasn’t a smooth one!

app day

The apprentices heard from myself and Scott Fletcher MBE – the road to success is never a smooth one!

We held workshops throughout the day – from CV tips to social media training – to equip these young people with the skills to make sure that they’re in the strongest position to take next steps.

Bright Future and its management are hitting the headlines non-stop this week, but I think we need to shift our focus to these kids. What’s done is done, unfortunately, so all we can do now is come together to help the hundreds of apprentices who needs the community now more than ever.

I am excited to watch their journey over the coming months and years. I believe that things often happen for a reason, and that the greatest things come from times of adversity.

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