Already it’s been a great start, with the launch of the new apprenticeship ‘Fire It Up’ campaign in January – which focuses on changing the ‘not-for-me’ mindset towards apprenticeships and is making a significant splash across TV, billboards, digital and social channels.
Thousands of engineering businesses are already offering world-class apprenticeship programmes. However, more firms need to come on board. Our aim with this campaign is to make all employers aware of the positive changes to apprenticeships and the significant benefits they can bring to their organisation.
On the heels of this, is National Apprenticeship Week, which will run from 4 to 8 March. The Week will see industry stakeholders and employers celebrate apprenticeships and their positive impact on organisations across England. Last year, was a record-breaking Week, and the biggest yet, with 780 events across the country, over 33,000 people engaging with our 10,000 talks movement and #NAW2018 trending on Twitter ahead of the Oscars!
This year, our collective goal for the Week is to shift awareness of apprenticeships into action, encouraging more employers to start their own apprenticeship programmes and more people across the country to consider doing an apprenticeship. The theme for the Week is ‘Blaze a Trail’ and we are calling on employers to take the lead and showcase how apprenticeships bring new energy into their businesses.
An impressive 96 percent of employers with apprentices say they have experienced at least one benefit from taking on apprentices, and most can count at least eight benefits.
Here are just three, applicable to every employer:
Apprenticeships have evolved significantly over the last few years. Today, there are a variety of highly-quality apprenticeships with the food and drink industry available, from food scientist/technician, chocolatier, brewer to more operational roles in storage, packaging and livestock. The move to employer-designed apprenticeships has allowed employers to develop apprenticeships that meet their needs. The quality has increased too, and the introduction of higher and degree apprenticeships has broadened the cohort of people completing them.
There has never been a better or more exciting time to consider apprenticeships, and I would urge every employer to leave behind any preconceptions they might have – and take a fresh look. Speak to other apprentice employers in your region, or training providers, and hear their experience first-hand. To find more about apprenticeships, please visit: https://www.apprenticeships.gov.uk/
If you want to get involved in National Apprenticeship Week 2019, please search NAW2019 on GOV.UK or contact us at: The.Week@education.gov.uk
A by-line piece by Keith Smith, Apprenticeships Director, Education and Skills Funding Agency