Rod Plummer, co-founder and managing director of Shrewsbury-based Shoothill, is a strong advocate for apprenticeships and is an ambassador for the Shropshire Star-backed Ladder for Shropshire campaign.
Thousands of youngsters across Shropshire received their GCSE and A-level results this month and Mr Plummer said it was a "no-brainer" when it comes to whether they or businesses should consider apprenticeships.
Mr Plummer said: “Results day can be a stressful time for young people and their families. You may be weighing up what to do next for your child.
"I have witnessed first-hand the impact apprenticeships have had on young people, and strongly encourage anybody unsure on university to take one up.
"Four of our employees either started here as apprentices or are close to completing their courses. One of our apprentices started here at 18 having just finished college, and five years later they have a level three qualification, a degree and five years’ experience – and most importantly – zero debt.
"It’s a no-brainer for both young people and businesses. It’s a shame that the word ‘apprentice’ has old fashioned connotations.
"It’s a travesty that the education system tends to funnel young people into university, when it only suits a specific type of a person. Not everybody knows what they want to do when they leave school – so why would they be able to make an informed choice on a course?
"It’s a shame that a lot more people don’t understand the real benefits of apprenticeships – they really are drastically different to what they were 20 years ago. Apprenticeships give young people a chance to try out a career before they go investing tens of thousands of pounds into it before they even know if they like it."