Parents, Guardians & Teachers

Why do an apprenticeship?

With the cost of higher education rising and an increasingly competitive job market, we believe that young people, regardless of background, should have as many options as possible.

Making decisions about the future is a challenging and daunting task for any young person. Although for many it’s natural to steer towards traditional routes like Higher Education, it’s by no means the only route to a successful career. And, with graduate jobs decreasing, it’s smart to give young people the best chance possible. An apprenticeship will give them a qualification and real world experience putting put them head and shoulders above the rest.

The Government is making a large investment in apprenticeships over the next few years, and has just passed a law that elevates them to the same level as Degrees. In terms of earning potential lifetime earnings of Graduates vs. apprentices is just 2% higher but apprentices are debt-free.

Step Forward is a unique year-long apprenticeship programme for young people in London aged 17-20 that introduces them to the world of work. It is run by The Challenge, the UK’s leading provider of NCS with a social integration mission at its heart.

What this means is that, as well as providing high quality training and opportunities to work at exciting companies all over London, we aim to create well-rounded young professionals with the skills and networks to succeed. They receive professional development training, pastoral support and we facilitate the creation of professional networks.  Because, as we all know, it’s not always what you know but who you know.

So that when they graduate they have more many more options.

Our young apprentices have taken a variety of different paths, going on to win highly competitive apprenticeships with the BBC and KPMG; study at Russell Group Universities; set up their own enterprises and one was recently shortlisted for Apprentice of the Year!  Read our success stories here.

What’s involved:

  • A full-time paid job with a London employer
  • Group and private study for a relevant professional apprenticeship (Level 3)
  • Personal mentor support
  • Monthly professional development sessions
  • Building a network of with peers in various industries from mixed backgrounds


Childcare apprenticeship in london

Step Forward made a huge impact on my work and educational decisions. I’m more confident in presentation and I can adapt better to different situations and people. It’s a great opportunity for any young person.

Cathryn Jackson

Step Forward 2015 Graduate