It’s National Apprenticeship Week.
The theme of the week for 2021 is ‘Build the Future’, with a focus on how employers train, retain and achieve with apprenticeships, and how they help individuals to build the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career.
As a result of the pandemic and many individuals and businesses relying on technology and virtual meetings more than ever, our showcase of Myerscough College apprenticeships will be a little different this year, but we’ll still be celebrating some motivating stories of how apprentices have helped business adapt and build during a difficult year.
Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, Gillian Keegan said: ‘’Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to learn while you earn, opening up new and exciting career paths that can transform lives. It’s been a tough year for everyone, but we want the theme for National Apprenticeship Week 2021 to be a springboard to look ahead to how apprenticeships can futureproof workforces and boost careers.
‘’The week is a great opportunity to highlight the huge range of apprenticeships on offer – from Space Engineer to Registered Nurse. There are currently around 7,000 apprenticeship opportunities available on the Find An Apprenticeship website which will benefit individuals, businesses and local communities. I encourage everyone to get involved and help make it a success.’’
Peter Mucklow, Director, Apprenticeships, Education and Skills Funding Agency, said: ‘’There is no doubt that National Apprenticeship Week 2021 will be different this year in how we celebrate apprenticeship success.
‘’We are however continuing to ask employers to encourage everyone to consider how apprenticeships can help build organisations for years to come; whilst showing the clear return on investment realised when apprentices are brought into the business. Employers are helping the nation to #BuildTheFuture through apprenticeships.
‘’The diversity of career options and industries available now, through apprenticeships, is outstanding. We want all current apprentices from all sectors to get behind the week and to showcase the positive impact of apprenticeships, on careers, families and communities.’’
Myerscough College continues to be a driving force of apprenticeships delivery in the land-based sector, delivering training to more than 1,300 apprentices across around a thousand workplaces nationally.
The College has a dedicated Employer Services Team who act as a key driver towards the promotion and delivery of apprenticeships to a wide range of employers.
Here are some of the most common myths and questions about apprenticeships explained:
“Apprenticeships are only for young people”
The mindset amongst employers is often that apprenticeships are just for those aged 16-18. This is incorrect, anyone above working age can complete an apprenticeship, and this includes existing staff where there is a requirement for the training to advance in their job role or career.
“Apprenticeships are not a real qualification”
All apprenticeships are aligned to an approved Standard or Framework, which are quality assured and aligned to qualification levels. Most apprenticeships tend to be Level 2 (Intermediate) which are equivalent to 5 GCSE passes, or Level 3 (Advanced) which equate to an A Level standard of education. Around 20% of successful advanced apprentices will progress to Higher Education.
“Employers don’t really get a say in the apprenticeship”
All apprenticeships are a three-way partnership between employer, provider and apprentice. Myerscough College tutors work closely with employers at the start of any programme to ensure that whilst mandatory elements of a programme are covered, there is also a chance to tailor training to the needs of the businesses taking into account seasonality and other issues that may occur.
The new apprenticeship Standards were designed by trailblazer groups, lead by employers to specifically address the needs of their industry. All apprentices will have a detailed training plan for both on and off the job activities that are part of the apprenticeship programme.
“I am not really sure what the benefits of an apprenticeship are”
Apprenticeships bring a range of benefits to employers. Apprentices themselves get a job, a wage and an opportunity to train to the latest occupational standards, and a recognised qualification in the chosen subject. For employers some of the key benefits are around addressing skills gaps, succession planning, increasing staff retention and also gaining a skilled, more efficient workforce and an advantage over competitors.
“Training apprentices will cost me loads of time and money”
The ongoing apprenticeship reforms have also changed the way they are now funded. Large employers who have a payroll in excess of £3 million will fund their apprenticeships through a levy system and a digital account.
Small employers will receive funding to support apprenticeship training. This can be fully funded or a 95% contribution depending on the age of the apprentice. This is now again paid to providers through a digital account which small employers need to set up. There are also employer incentives currently available to support the recruitment and training of apprentices.
For more information on any aspect of apprenticeship training at Myerscough College please contact the Employer Services Team on 01995 642255 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
by Dave Salmon