Simoney Kyriakou  

In praise of the young apprentice

Simoney Kyriakou

Simoney Kyriakou

Young people these days! 

In my day, we didn't hold our fork like a shovel and our knife like a pen. We turned up on time to things instead of calling to say we were late.

We also took a lot on the chin without standing up for ourselves and certainly never put ourselves forward because, well, that was seen as precocious at best, rude at worst.

But today's new generation are remarkably driven: self-motivated for the large part, keen to pick up on opportunities and eager to show off their skills (awful table manners aside).

I say this because I had a lot of email responses to a tweet I issued, offering those aspiring journalists who did not get into the uni of their choice because of their A-Level results, a week's work experience here with Financial Adviser. 

I had five emails with very impressive-looking CVs attached to them, from a wide and diverse background of potential candidates. 

In the end, I've arranged for all of them to come in and do some work experience with myself and with the team over the course of a year. Their eagerness to learn and desire to take someone up on an opportunity that might not otherwise have presented itself to them was extremely winsome.

This is why I read comments in relation to a slew of FTAdviser stories on apprenticeships with a mixture of pleasure and pain. Pleasure, in that many advisers have come forward to acknowledge the importance of bringing young and diverse people on board and training up the next generation.

Pain, in that some advisers still see this as a time/cost exercise that bears little fruit.

I would argue that you get out of an apprenticeship what you put in, and if you don't take the time to get the right person and train them up properly, you won't get the best results out of them.

I have been training and mentoring young people for the past 20 years and I've seen, in all that time, only two real time wasters.

These were a guy who looked like Sonic the Hedgehog who actually put his feet up on the desk in the office and referred to my former editor as 'Yo, Hal', and a girl who clearly was only doing it because the university course she was on dictated that she attended a week on a journalism placement, and she became mysteriously ill one Wednesday afternoon and never came back to the office.