National Apprenticeship Week 2024! #NAW2024

An apprenticeship is a programme of long-term training that is completed under the supervision of an employer. An apprentice receives wages for work completed while in training, which allows them to learn the skills of a job or trade while earning. You can supplement practical work experience by evening classes or other tertiary education.

Apprenticeships are traditionally used to teach individuals particular trades or skilled jobs. While working, suitable, experienced and qualified personnel teach the apprentice the practical and administrative aspects of the trade. The endpoint of an apprenticeship is the receipt of certification or licensing or certification that permits an apprentice to work their trade independently.

Apprenticeships are centred around the roles and responsibilities of the job or trade the apprentice is working. The working day and progression over the months and years of the apprenticeship are determined by the employer. As an apprentice progresses in their specific field, key competencies required for independent working are signed off by the employer until they have met the requirements for completing their apprenticeship or relevant certification.

Student life is vastly different in routine and responsibilities from entering the workforce as an apprentice. Students are to be expected to attend lectures, seminars or tutorials while undertaking self-directed learning in the subject they choose to pursue. Universities have a vibrant cultural and social life that students can participate in outside their academic activities.

Apprentices gain experience in working at their trade or within a particular industry by undertaking full-time work within the business hours of their employer. There may be group training or courses outside of working hours, but an apprentice primarily remains with their employer.

· You can earn while you learn.

As an apprentice you will be classed as an employee. Apprentices are paid a salary that meets the minimum wage requirements for apprenticeship set out by the Government annually. Rates of pay vary for apprentices aged 16 to 18, and those who are 19 and over are paid according to the national minimum wage, although many employers pay more.

· You gain practical and relevant work experience.

Every apprenticeship scheme is designed by the Sector Skills Council, with the help of employers within your chosen industry. This means that it is structured in a way that ensures you will learn and develop the key skills needed to do the job well. You will gain invaluable experience and develop the key skills that employers within that industry really want. Most of your time will be spent learning ‘on-the-job’ alongside experienced staff who will help you to develop job-specific skills. The remainder of your time will be spent doing ‘off-the-job’ training at a college or training provider. This is when you will study additional elements which will be useful in the job you are currently doing, whilst helping to prepare you for your next job, and future career.

· You will automatically boost your career prospects.

Because each apprenticeship scheme is tailored around the needs of the employer, you will gain invaluable experience, and develop the key skills that employers within that industry really want. Not only will it make you an attractive prospect for future employers, but it will also help you enhance your longer-term career prospects and earning potential. So, whether you find something long-term at the company you are working for, or you want to move on to another role within the industry, your apprenticeship will add value to every application.

· You will achieve sought-after qualifications.

It is not just practical skills and experience that you will gain during your apprenticeship – in most cases, you will also be able to back them up with a nationally recognised qualification on completion. For some industries, these sector-specific certifications will be even more valuable than a gaining a relevant degree, and a much better indication that you will be able to hit the ground running. And even if you decide to move on to a completely different role, you will still have something to show for the time your spent studying.

· You will avoid student loans.

No student debt: apprentices do not pay tuition fees and are not eligible for student loans, so there is no student debt to worry about. You are still entitled to student discounts though and can get an NUS card. Apprenticeship training is paid for by the UK Government (90%), with the remaining 10% paid for by the employer.

The Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP)

The LSIP is a Department for Education (DfE) funded project led by the Chamber.

The LSIP is all about understanding employers skills needs across the region, and working with stakeholders to manage skills challenges and keep the skills conversation going amongst local organisations.

Apprenticeships are are very successful and popular method for addressing both current and future skills needs nationally and across our region.

Find our more on skills and LSIP here!

National Apprenticeships Week Case Studies!

We’ve spoken to Apprentices, Employers and Other Stakeholders to get their take on #apprenticeships and #skillsforlife this #NAW2024.

Click on the case studies below to find out what each of them have to say.

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