Max Foster beat hundreds of others to get his place on a trainee scheme.
Two young men chose vocation over education and snapped up places as apprentices.
Jordan Cramer, 21, from Gravesend, and Max Foster, 17, from Dartford, both chose to leap straight onto the career ladder rather than continuing with further education.
Jordan was recently made a manager at the London City Airport branch of Travelodge after becoming one of the UK’s first hotel management apprentices.
He joined the Junior Management Programme (JuMP) in 2011 after completing a BTEC level 3 diploma in sports science at the Gravesend campus of North West Kent College in Lower Higham Road.
The hotel launched the scheme for school leavers as an alternative to university. The course allows youngsters to continue their education, while obtaining work experience and getting paid.
Jordan, who enjoys boxing in his spare time, manages a team of 20 staff at the 157-room hotel and was one of 17 graduates to complete the scheme before taking on his role at one of London’s busiest hotels.
The Gravesend boy graduated with a level two apprenticeship in multi-skilled hospitality and a level three diploma (advanced apprenticeship) in hospitality supervision and leadership.
Jordan has no regrets about going straight in to work.
He said:“The decision to go onto the JuMP scheme at Travelodge rather than go to university has been one of the best choices I have ever made.
“Rather than getting into debt and facing an uncertain jobs market, I have joined a company that actively encourages my progress up the career ladder.
“To be playing a major role in the management of a big London hotel is incredibly exciting, and one I’m very much looking forward to.”
Max was selected from 820 applicants as one of 30 to join UK Power Networks on-the-job training project.
The company distributes more than a quarter of the UK’s electricity each day, operating across London and the South East of England.
The Wilmington Grammar School for Boys pupil said: “A career as an electrical engineer suits me as it will be challenging and I enjoy practical work, such as fixing engines, working on mechanical equipment and problem-solving.”
Max will be based at the company’s depot in Falconwood. The scheme lasts three years with each apprentice specialising in climbing electricity poles, fixing and connecting power cables or supplying electricity stations.
At the end, the trainees will qualify with a diploma in electrical power engineering.