One of Britain’s most famous apprentices, Ruth Badger, has returned to the screen to star in a new DVD promoting the real value of being a trainee.
Ms Badger, now a successful businesswoman, says she owes her prosperity to becoming an apprentice after she left school.
The new DVD, called The Real Apprentice 2, spells out how as a 16-year-old in the Black Country she gained valuable work experience and a qualification as a result of her training.
Now based in Manchester, the 30-year-old star of the BBC’s The Apprentice show runs three separate companies and is looking to take on apprentices of her own.
“I’ve been an apprentice twice in my life. Once with Sir Alan Sugar and once on the old YTS programme,” she said.
“If I had not started as an apprentice at the age of 16, I would not be in the position I am now as a businesswoman. I am living proof that you can start a career as an apprentice and be running your own business by 30.”
She said that when she left school she had no idea what she wanted to do but now she would always encourage youngsters to try and get an apprenticeship to gain real business and work experience.
“I left school with three GCSEs. Within a year of leaving I was being paid and had got a qualification in business administration. I would say to school leavers who do not want to go on to college or university go and be a real apprentice,” she said.
“The good thing about The Apprentice was that it gave me an opportunity to showcase my skills, but I would not have had those skills without being given the chance to be an apprentice as a teenager.”
The Real Apprentice 2 DVD has been produced by the Black Country Learning and Skills Council and BCTG (Black Country Training Group).
As well as Ms Badger, the DVD features current apprentices in a range of jobs talking about their own experience. It will be shown at The Real Apprentice 2 showcases being held in Walsall, Wolverhampton, Dudley and Sandwell in November.
The events will give students in years 10, 11, 12 and 13 and their parents or guardians the chance to find out about all the post-16 training and education options available to them. In addition they will get a copy of the DVD.
The Real Apprentice 2 showcases will be at the The Hawthorns, West Bromwich, on November 4, Walsall Football Club, November 11, Dunstall Race Course, November 13 and Brierley Hill Civic Hall, November 18. All run from 3.30pm to 8pm.
Currently there are more than 5,000 apprenticeships, funded by the Black Country LSC, available to young people. And there are more than 40 different types of apprenticeship to choose from.
Postcards inviting students and letters inviting parents or guardians to the free showcases are now being sent out.