AS students across the country receive their A-Level results, Somerset Chamber of Commerce is reminding those considering their next steps that an apprenticeship can provide an equally valuable route to career success as going to university.

Speaking as thousands of young people collect their results across the county, Somerset Chamber interim CEO, Chris Langdon, said: “Our congratulations to all those celebrating their A-Level results today and we wish them well in their next steps, be that university, an apprenticeship or a full-time job.

“While many will be focused on going to university, a healthy proportion are now realising the many advantages that apprenticeships can offer, giving aspiring professionals practical experience, high quality training and an opportunity to ‘earn as they learn’ – in some cases still coming out with a degree level qualification.

“Both university and apprenticeship routes are valued by business, and the range of industries, subject areas and qualification levels offered by apprenticeships these days is vast.

"According to the government’s apprenticeships website, there are currently over 450 apprenticeship vacancies in Somerset. These range from one to five year courses, and from GCSE to master’s degree level.”

The Somerset Chamber is working with Somerset County Council to deliver the new Somerset Education Business Partnership (EBP), based at the Chamber’s offices in Taunton.

This aims to bring together businesses, schools, colleges and other training providers to help young people develop rewarding careers in Somerset.

Mr Langdon added: “The Somerset EBP has been set up to help learners to understand all of the choices available once they leave full-time education.

"The EBP aims to improve careers education and create a prosperous Somerset by connecting employers and educators across the county.”