Interview with Karren Brady, Vice-Chair of West Ham United Football Club

Interview with Karren Brady for West Ham FC

01 April 2012

Karren Brady, Vice-Chair of West Ham Utd Football Club and Alan Sugar’s adviser from BBC television series The Apprentice explains why she believes apprentices  will bring out the best in UK businesses

Taking on an apprentice has been on the back burner…

But is now coming to the fore because young people want to earn while they learn. I think some of the focus had gone away from vocational learning in recent years, but lots of university graduates are now coming out with their degrees and still can’t get work.


The outcome you want from an apprenticeship is an employee who is work-ready…

They’ll have a skill for life in an environment where they are respected. The Million Extra campaign was launched to encourage employers who haven’t offered apprenticeships before to start because there are lots of young people looking for work.


We’re trying to prepare businesses for their future needs, not their current ones…

We need to be thinking forward to four, five or 10 years from now about what is the most cost-effective way of giving businesses the skills they need – that’s what apprenticeships are all about.


Apprenticeships have been around for years and we all know what they mean… You want to learn on the job. They are a very clear and precise way of describing many different forms of training.

The market is so diverse – it’s very difficult for employers to go to one place to learn about something that helps not only their business but young people too. The more we can consolidate, the better.


One of the things that frightens me as an employer…

…is that the body of people we employ tend to have the same types of qualifications from the same types of universities. To create a dynamic and diverse organisation, you need people from different backgrounds, with different qualifications.

It’s very important to have this broader mix, to have people who have learned on the job.


I didn’t go to university and understand what learning on the job means…

Being an entrepreneur is about a spirit and a state of mind. It’s about having determination, not just an idea, and it’s about the risks you take.


Our research reveals that three quarters of young people demand skills-based training to achieve their ambitions Read full research article