National Apprenticeship Week 2021
It is National Apprenticeship Week, a great opportunity to celebrate and talk about Apprenticeships! Our Sales & Marketing Director Ray has been involved in a number of large-scale apprenticeship schemes in his time, and we continue to support a number of training providers and employers investing significantly in apprenticeships. We asked him for his perspectives on #NAW and apprenticeships in general.
The theme for this year’s National Apprenticeship Week is ‘Build the Future’. What does this mean to you?
For the past 20 years or so I’ve felt that the balance between academic education and vocational education has been off kilter. It seemed as though young people were increasingly being given the message that university was the only option for them. As someone who didn’t go to Uni that didn’t seem right – don’t get me wrong; I get the value of a degree and for many young adults it is the best choice – but it isn’t necessarily right for everyone!
I have two sons, one is an academic who enjoys studying, and is likely to end up in a role where the degree he chose will add real value. The other is more practical, much more hands-on and likely to follow a vocational path – they are different, and so are their choices. So, for me the growth in prominence of vocational pathways, through the reintroduction of Apprenticeships, is an incredibly valuable and timely thing.
“Build the future” has many connotations but for me the most important one is that we, as a society are giving genuine support to alternative pathways – telling our school leavers that it’s ok not to go to university – if that us what they decide. The future we build therefore is one with options, and choices, and decisions!
What do you think employers and Apprenticeship providers could be doing (differently) to provide meaningful apprenticeship opportunities at the current time?
For many employers the introduction of the levy resulted in a “use it or lose” scenario. This in practice meant the introduction of unsustainable programs, designed to soak up levy spend. For me it’s more about looking closely at individual businesses to understand where the genuine need for a supply of new entrants is, and mapping that to a vocational curriculum. There also needs to be a genuine understanding of the need for an “off the job” element, and an inclusion of elements that provide a broader business skillset, in addition to the program itself.
If you were Marty McFly, which apprenticeship would you choose for the future you?
I would definitely be a flux capacitor installer – how cool would that be!? The reality is that we don’t know what the future holds judging by the Doc’s version of 2015, complete with flying cars and holograms. I’d hope a range of opportunities would be open to Marty McFly and that governments, employers and providers around the world would be embracing the skills they all need for the future!
If you’re interested in finding Apprenticeship opportunities head over to Find Apprenticeship
If you work at an apprenticeship provider and want to find out how we could help you deliver learning at scale, get in touch!