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Young Professionals get fit for their Apprenticeships at BECBC’s free AppFit event

Young professionals in Cumbria have the opportunity to practice the apprenticeship application process before applying for the start in their careers.

AppFit is an event co-ordinated by the Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster (BECBC) Shadow Board to help young professionals in Cumbria get into the right apprenticeships.

Too often businesses, rightly or wrongly, take on young people into apprenticeships solely based on their performance during a fixed application process which typically includes an Application Form, Aptitude Test and Interview. For many young professionals applying for an apprenticeship is the first time they are faced with completing any of these steps alone, not to mention being expected to do all three together.

Many apprenticeships, particularly levels 1 to 3, are practical based schemes. However, the process to get into these roles requires candidates to possess specific administrative skills – a completely different skill set than what might be required to do the job. The outcome is that many of the successful candidates secure schemes below their level of competence. As a result, after completing the scheme and realising that they are underemployed, candidates then move out of the area they were brought in to fill.

“This is an issue seen by both large and small businesses. It doesn’t stem from a lack of young professionals available to fill the right apprenticeships, it’s that those applying do not have the administrative skills required to pass the three elements.

AppFit meets this need by providing structured advice and guidance on the three elements, Application Form, Aptitude Test and Interview, so that young professionals are more informed going into the process – levelling the playing field which not only supports those applying for a job but helps businesses fill recruitment needs more effectively.” Jason Savage, BECBC Shadow Board member.

During AppFit, Lakes College is delivering the Application Form session, Gen2 the Aptitude Test session and Inspira the Interview session. More personal support is also provided during AppFit’s ‘Conversation Circles’ where young professionals can sit with an employer to talk about their aspirations and receive personal advice.

In addition to this support, AppFit also offers an opportunity for businesses to showcase what they offer young people in a structured networking session facilitated by the Centre for Leadership Performance.

“From our experience, whether you are an adult or young person, networking often takes us out of our comfort zone. The Centre will be providing some structure to the networking, session by providing top tips and facilitating dialogue between employers and youth people to ensure that all attendees maximise this opportunity and get the most out of AppFit.” Sarah Glass, Centre for Leadership Performance.

Employers signed up so far include:

  • ARUP
  • Balfour Beatty
  • Capula
  • Copeland Borough Council
  • Centre for Leadership Performance
  • Cumbria LEP
  • Energus
  • IDS
  • Inspira
  • Jacobs
  • Kaefer
  • KBR
  • REACT Engineering
  • Rosehill Theatre
  • Sellafield Ltd
  • Wood
  • WYG

Training providers signed up are:

  • Carlisle College
  • Gen2
  • Lakes College

This is the second instalment of AppFit; the first was in 2016 and was hugely successful. Some of the attendees shared their experience…

“I knew that an apprenticeship would be the best route into a career in engineering and to get the real-world experience I needed. Before attending AppFit, I had been unsuccessful twice in getting into an apprenticeship, but after using what I learnt during AppFit I tried again and was successful! I am now doing an Engineering Apprenticeship at QinetiQ through Lakes College.” Will Yetts

“I was doing my first year of A-Levels, but both the hands-on experience and the earning potential of an apprenticeship appealed to me. I attended AppFit to increase my confidence since I had never done an aptitude test or interview before. The sessions I attended really helped give me the tools to complete the application process and I was successful first time with Nuvia on their Electrical Design scheme run through Gen2.” Cameron Harris

AppFit is free to attend on Saturday 11 January 2020 at Energus.

For more details and to register go to