An apprentice who helped create a Manchester-wide publicity campaign is urging other young people to consider joining the Apprentice Revolution.
Muchano Banda, a design apprentice at Manchester City Council, was involved in the striking new campaign, which aims to encourage young people to consider an apprenticeship as an option for the future.
She helped to arrange the photo shoot for the campaign's key picture - a bold tableau of real-life apprentices from different professions styled after revolutionary imagery, which will appear on billboards across Manchester - and stars in the photo herself.
Muchano, 23, from Withington, had always been interested in art and design, but thought that she wouldn't be able to get a job in the field, as she didn't have the relevant qualifications. After deciding that university wasn't for her, she spotted an advert for apprenticeship opportunities in Manchester online and decided to apply.
Muchano said: "I'd always enjoyed drawing, making birthday cards for my friends and making things for my house, but because I had chosen different A-levels, I assumed that I would only be able to be creative in my hobbies."
Apprenticeships, which are now available in industries ranging all the way from aviation to sports development to IT, are increasingly being seen by young people as a viable alternative to university. Muchano, who will study at Manchester College for one day per week during her one-year apprenticeship, is delighted to have found a different way of pursuing further education.
She said: "By getting an apprenticeship, I'm earning money while I get trained and the experience of being in work is totally invaluable. My workmates have told me they think that this is a great way for me to start my career and I have a real opportunity to progress.
"I whole-heartedly recommend apprenticeships to other young people. If I had known about them when I was 18, I would have gone for it then."
Within the past year, Manchester City Council has offered apprenticeships to 200 people and is continuing to create more apprenticeship opportunities in a wide variety of job roles.
Councillor Sue Murphy, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: "Young people shouldn't associate apprenticeships with the tired old clichés about what's on offer, because they have changed. Today's apprentice isn't limited to a small selection of roles and can choose from more than 200 different courses in a huge range of industries."Apprentices earn while they learn, getting hands-on work experience while developing the specialist skills they need to shape their future career."