THE opportunities available to young people in the Malvern area are being highlighted in a new campaign.

Amongst those taking part is Charlie Alsaradat, an accountancy apprentice at Key IQ Ltd, a high-tech firm based at Upper Colwall.

He said: “With apprenticeships you’re learning theory and getting practical experience, whilst gaining qualifications. Compared to university leavers who have done the same course, you’ll be a better candidate for a job because you can actually perform the job – you’ve learned it and tried it out."

Phil Merrick, head of economy and environmental services at Malvern Hills District Council, said: “One of the main barriers to growth for a lot of small businesses is the lack of funding available for training and employing new staff.

"At Malvern, our economic development officer Christine Butler can help those businesses access funding and reach their business potential. There is government funding available to help businesses to grow and take on apprentices, and Chris is always happy to talk to people and help them find the funding they need.”

Recently launched on Twitter and Instagram, the #NotJust campaign has been created by Gemma Ranford, a digital marketing apprentice at Malvern Hills and Wychavon District Councils, with the support of Worcestershire Apprenticeships.

The campaign sets to tackle misconceptions linked with becoming an apprentice, while encouraging more people to consider it as a career and not just a second choice to university.

More apprenticeship qualifications are being made available and some industries now offer degree level apprenticeships, which enable apprentices to gain work experience while studying for a degree.

Throughout the campaign, apprentices will have their say on why they chose an apprenticeship over university, and businesses will also discuss why they chose to take on an apprentice.