This month, we’ve been celebrating the positive impact of Apprenticeships on individuals, business and the economy, through National Apprenticeship Week. The awareness raising week is co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service and aims to shine a light on the successes of apprentices throughout the country.
It seems fitting that David Cameron marked the start of the week by re-affirming the Government’s commitment to work-based training, sitting at “the heart of our mission to rebuild the economy”.
The Prime Minister pledged to make Apprenticeships the “new norm” for school leavers who decide against going to university and called upon employers, educators and MPs to expand Apprenticeship roles for young people. His comments come in the light of recent statistics which suggest that apprentices could add up to £3.4bn a year in economic gains.
Mr Cameron’s statement is certainly encouraging; it’s never been more important to raise the status of high quality Apprenticeships as a viable alternative to higher education, allowing learners to earn while they learn and gain that all-important work experience.
I found it interesting to note that according to a recent poll of 1,774 recent university graduates, more than ¾ of those interviewed claimed that they were not told about vocational training routes before leaving secondary education.
What’s more, more than half of those surveyed said they would have picked an Apprenticeship rather than university if they had received more thorough careers advice, in order to avoid debt and progress more quickly at work. A third of the graduates admitted that they were now in an industry for which their degree was “completely irrelevant.”
It’s time to take control of the situation. We need to ensure that young people have a 360 degree view of all of their options so that they can find the route that suits their individual needs, skills, talents and future plans.
At NCFE, we fully support Apprenticeships as a gateway to a successful career and currently have almost 50 full Apprenticeship packages in a range of industry areas. What’s more, we’re committed to working with colleges to make their lives easier in terms of qualification delivery.
With this in mind, we’ve just launched a range of Apprenticeship resources in partnership with Nelson Thornes for our Intermediate and Advanced Health and Social Care Apprenticeships.
Both new and existing customers with learners registered on these Apprenticeships will receive over £250 worth of resources including workbooks for students, VLE packages for centres, course companions and much more, absolutely free.
Health and Social Care is an ever-growing sector which we’re happy to support with our Apprenticeship offer. It covers a large range of services across settings including hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes, medical and dental practices, ambulance transportation and complementary medicine. There are many young people out there who are well suited to this rewarding line of work so let’s work together to help them fulfil their potential.
To find out more about NCFE Apprenticeships or our package of Apprenticeship resources, please email [email protected] or give us a call on 0191 239 8000. We’re always happy to hear from you.
David Grailey is chief executive of NCFE, the training provider