JOB vacancies for apprenticeships in York reached their highest level for years last month.

With a weekly average of 180 adverts for 260 jobs within 15 miles of York, the opportunities for students receiving their results or those seeking a career change are at their highest point for some time.

By mid-August, the volume of vacancies is likely to remain above pre-pandemic levels with about 100 adverts, equating to 140 job opportunities. The 2019 and early 2020 average was around 60 jobs.

Vacancies were low last summer, but have been climbing since the end of 2020 with all sectors now represented, including hospitality and retail.

Sectors such as health, care, early years and teaching provide opportunities for career changers, and there are vacancies from level 2 to degree with employers of all sizes.

City of York Council's apprenticeship vacancies include a stonemason, a public health assistant and business administration roles.

Cllr Andrew Waller, with responsibility for apprenticeships, said: “The strength of York’s apprenticeship offer is in its range and diversity and we are seeing that more than ever this year. The number of apprenticeship opportunities is higher than ever, with placements available in a wide range of sectors from construction and hospitality to early years childcare and IT and digital.

“I really would urge anyone who’s looking to take the first steps into employment, or who is looking for a career change, to consider apprenticeships. With a wide range of dynamic organisations looking for people of all ages to join their teams, there’s never been a better time to start an apprenticeship in York.”

ISF Engineering in York has employed apprentices for many years including Ben Houlden, 21, who has just finished an engineering technician level 3 apprenticeship, supported by Derwent Training Association.

Ben who was working in ISF's computer-aided design and projects team said: "My mentors at ISF have been really supportive and have given me responsibility to learn some amazing things. I now can’t wait to start my progression to a higher level qualification at university. I would recommend an apprenticeship as a great way to start your employed career.”

Iain Scott, ISF managing director, said: “The engineering sector has a significant skills shortage, and ISF places great importance in attracting and retaining high-quality staff in York to meet our customers’ needs in the animal feed milling machinery and service sector.

“Recruiting apprentices, and giving them the opportunities to progress further within the company, is a vital part of preparing the business for the future.”

Georgia Eason, 24, deferred her university place to look into her options, and successfully applied for a Specsavers apprenticeship job advert in her local branch.

Georgia whose apprentice role was Optical Retail Assistant level 2, supported by Pearson, said the experience was a real confidence boost.

She has since undertaken additional training and qualifications and been promoted several times to her current role of retail director of the North Yorkshire Area Home Visits team.

“No two days are the same and I love it," she said. "I would always say never knock an apprenticeship. Any lower wages are only short term, but the learning is such a long term gain. Full-time university is not the only option.”

Jamie Lockhart, 25, attended York College before joining The Fox and Roman, Dringhouses, in the front of house team. In 2019 he did an up-skilling apprenticeship and is now the front of house team coach, training new hires.

Jamie said: “After working here for a few years, I felt I could do more for the business than as a team member. I had a talent for increasing sales and felt it would benefit the business as a whole to coach others in this area. My effort was noticed and my manager put me forward for the apprenticeship.

“The apprenticeship helped to improve my confidence a great deal and the resulting role of team coach has made me realise that I want a future career in training people.”

Indigo Greens estate agents, York, has recruited a new staff member from last year's apprentice intake, and is advertising for another.

Izzy, 19, and Libby, 16, are both one year into a Junior Estate Agent level 2 apprenticeship supported by Babington, which provides this apprentice training.

Izzy said her apprenticeship had already helped with her confidence, speaking to the public in person and on the phone, and with computer skills.

"My advice to others considering an apprenticeship would be go for it! If you want the experience of going into employment, but still want that extra bit of training, this is the perfect route for you.”

Owners Emma Brownbridge and Simon Cartwright said their first two apprentices had gone from strength to strength.

“Not only have we been able to train our apprentices in our own way with the support of regular guided tutor sessions, we have been able to see our apprentices grow on a personal level too. Their knowledge, understanding and customer service has blossomed in such a short time and many of our clients don’t realise they are so young or new to the industry."

* For details about York council's apprenticeships, visit

* For advice on York apprenticeships, contact the Apprenticeship Hub at: