Blogs - 31 May 2013

Guest blog: Steve Yardley – The drive to get you places


Steve Yardley, Chief Operating Officer for Remit Group

It has been fantastic to see apprenticeships being given a great deal more attention in recent years. There are now more opportunities than ever for young people to get onto the career ladder and train in their chosen field.

But it’s really important that apprenticeships are not just seen as the university route’s poorer cousin. They are not just a way to reduce unemployment figures, get people out of the job centre and into work, offering employers cheap labour, or even a way to pass on the jobs employers don’t want to do themselves.

An apprenticeship is a springboard to a career. It offers valuable training, on-the-job experience, not only in technical skills, but in life lessons too. And to top it all off, you’re paid to do it – not racking up debts in excess of £20,000, a burden that so many graduates carry with them into working life.

At Remit the majority of our work is in the automotive industry, a traditional apprenticeship route, which is still incredibly popular with young people. But it does carry age-old stigmas, and to many wouldn’t even be considered over a university education.

However I hope people like myself and many of our assessors and senior managers at Remit can serve to allay some of those stigmas.

I began my career as an apprentice mechanic in Nottingham in the eighties. I don’t think if you’d have asked a 16-year-old me where I thought I’d be in 30 years time, I’d say running a £14.5 million company, responsible for training nearly 6,000 apprentices across the UK.

But I had the drive for it, and that’s what matters.

I strongly believe that life is what you make of it. A driven and motivated young person can achieve anything, and I see so many of examples of this at Remit every day. 

I never forget where I came from, as I wouldn’t be here without it.

Steve Yardley, Chief Operating Officer for Remit Group

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