The 12th annual National Apprenticeship Week is taking place from the 4th to the 8th of March this year.
This very special celebration is a fantastic way to get involved in supporting those that study or work within apprenticeships.
Whether you employ an apprentice or want to learn more about the training that apprenticeships can offer, we’re showing you how you can take part!
What is National Apprenticeship Week?
Since 2008, National Apprenticeship Week (or NAW for short) has been a designated event to shout about the UK’s fantastic apprentices. The event is organised by the National Apprenticeship Service and is a platform to share a variety of apprenticeship success stories.
Employers, training providers, and apprentices all use NAW to get the news out about the hugely positive impact that apprentices have for employers, their colleagues and the local community.
With the rise of apprenticeships and the introduction of the apprenticeship levy, there’s more to talk about than ever before!
The Theme of National Apprenticeship Week 2019
NAW always has a theme and this year, it’s all about the trailblazers. With ‘Blaze a Trail’, they’re tipping their hats to the people that work hard to create new paths for apprentices and employers and improve the workplace for all.
This celebrates the wide range of new Trailblazer apprenticeship standards now available too, as they create accessible routes to work in brand new industries.
How to Participate…
In the run up to the big week, here are some ideas for how you can join in with the event.
Get Involved in a Talk to Young People
Schools and colleges are always keen to introduce guest speakers to their location to inspire their pupils. If you have significant experience in your industry, or just have an interesting story to tell about your career progression, then they’ll want to hear from you.
No matter what stage you’re at within your career, there will be something that you can use to inspire others. Whether you’re teaching them how to write a CV or discussing job roles in depth, you’ll be able to help them in their own careers.
(This doesn’t have to be confined to NAW - you can reach out to schools or youth groups in your area at any time!)
Follow the Day on Social Media
On social media, the #NationalApprenticeshipWeek news will be in full swing! You’ll find all sorts of news from the day, like graduation ceremonies and talks from around the country. Interacting and following along with the latest news will give you an insight into the day, no matter where you might be.
With footage of talks and graduations coming to you throughout the day, there’s sure to be a lot to inspire you!
Appreciate your Apprentices
If you do have an apprentice within your business, you can take this week as a reminder to appreciate them. As the Trailblazers are brought to light, you can shine the spotlight on the apprentices that are blazing a trail in your business.
For those that have more than one apprentice in their business, you can also organise group activities or even an award ceremony! This is brilliant for morale and can even boost your apprenticeship retention rates. Employees love to be appreciated and this week can be your opportunity to recognise and reward their hard work.
Simple things like cakes, vouchers and an early finish can really make your apprentices feel wanted at this time. Again, this doesn’t have to be limited to National Apprenticeship Week either!
This can also be a good time to touch base with your apprentices and let them know what routes exist for them within the company. Routes for progression will keep them engaged with the company and working hard too. Investors in People made the recommendation to the government that this should be mandatory within all apprenticeships, so get ahead of the curve.
Refresh Your Apprenticeship Knowledge
There have been many changes to the apprenticeship scheme and there will likely be more coming soon. In April 2019, the minimum wage will change for apprentices, so ensure you’re ready to update your apprentices’ pay in the coming months.
The Chancellor has announced a concession for small employers to access unused funds from the apprenticeship levy. This may mean that you are able to access more funds for training or for another aspect within your business.
The House of Commons Education Committee has also made 27 recommendations in a recent publication regarding apprenticeships. This has the potential to really change this scheme over the next few years, as the government takes these recommendations into consideration.
Take some time to understand how apprenticeships will be changing over the coming years and what you may need to do to adapt.
Recommend an Apprenticeship to Others
For those that have had an apprentice, or have one in their business currently, you can also spread the word about your experience. Knowledge of the opportunities for employees and employers can boost the number of positions that exist.
During the course of the week, it’s usually quite easy to get into a conversation about apprentices, whether that’s online or in person. If you’ve found apprenticeships to be useful, then let another business owner, manager or HR professional know.
Apprentices are quickly shaping the workforce and this is likely to continue. No matter which way you want to get involved with National Apprenticeship Week, you can’t ignore this wave of workers!
We’ll be keeping you up to date with all of the news and events leading up to NAW, so keep checking in here on our blog for more information.
Could an apprenticeship benefit your business? Contact us to find out how we can assist in their training online in HR, leadership, project management, finance and more.