Today’s guest blog comes from Cllr Anna Keen, cabinet lead for Education and Skills.
Apprenticeships play a huge part in our efforts in building an inclusive, flourishing economy that doesn’t leave people behind. They bring together training and real life experience to ensure the individuals completing each programme are work-ready, demonstrating first class experience of work, transferable skills that most employers look for and high quality qualifications.
Yet there are still myths about apprenticeships, who can do them, the types of subjects they cover and they often still come with a stigma of being a second class choice. I often see schools and parents guiding their young people towards other options, perhaps not fully understanding a modern day apprenticeship.
This week is National Apprenticeships Week, which shines a light on apprentices and their employers across the country and how much apprenticeship programmes have changed over the years.
Did you know…
- Apprenticeships are suitable for anyone aged 16 or over?
- Apprenticeships are available at a range of levels, from Level 2 for those just starting their career to Level 7 Master’s Degree equivalent across professional and management roles?
- Apprenticeships cover a range of sectors, including law, finance, education, sales, marketing, IT as well as more traditional subjects?
- Doing an apprenticeship can increase your long term earning potential and are also great for those returning to work or changing career?
- Apprenticeships offer a competitive salary whilst all your training costs are paid, including at degree level?
For the employers that take on apprentices, the benefits are far-reaching. Across the UK, 78% of these organisations reported improved activity across the workforce, 74% reported improved product or service quality, 65% recognised the new ideas that apprentices bring to their organisation and 83% would recommend other business take on apprentices (Learners and Apprentices Survey 2018 report).
At Bristol City Council we currently have 160 apprentices across all areas (including one in the Mayor’s Office) and aim to increase that to 200 by 2020. Some of the council’s apprentices recently interviewed Mayor Rees on what apprentices bring to Bristol and the organisation.
This week there are a number of opportunities across the city to find out more about apprenticeships, including:
- A digital open day on Wednesday 6 March, 10am-3pm with a range of organisations answering questions about apprenticeships on Twitter. Anyone with an apprenticeship question can get in touch with one of the participating organisations via Twitter using the hashtag #ApprenticeOpenDay
Drop in sessions at The Mall, The Galleries and City of Bristol College
- Employer events at Aerospace Bristol
For more information about all of these events, visit www.bristol.works/apprenticeships
This week also sees the launch of a brand new website, as part of the Healthier Together partnership, which promotes apprenticeships across the region’s health and social care services.
Bristol is also taking part in the government’s Five Cities Apprenticeship Diversity Hub project, which is a pilot scheme designed to broaden the appeal of apprenticeships to more diverse audiences. It includes Bristol alongside Birmingham, Leicester, London and Manchester. Locally it is also supported by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA).
Apprenticeships provide us with a talent pipeline for the future and help us develop leaders for the future – I am proud to be supporting National Apprenticeship Week as a celebration of the energy and passion that apprentices bring to our city.