From education to employment

Apprenticeships make a magnificent comeback after being negatively impacted by lockdowns

Sandra Cowley, Commercial Director, Futures

When lockdown came into action last spring, people of all ages, from all sectors, felt the impact. Whether you were a student, an employee, or a CEO, changes had to be made. These changes were no different for those who were studying apprenticeships.  

Due to the nature of apprenticeships – often working onsite or in the office to gain practical experience – the pandemic had a significant negative impact. Statistics from the House of Commons show that for those under the age of 19 or those starting an apprenticeship at an intermediate level, the impact was even worse. Unable to work in person, many apprentices found that their training was either moved online or put on hold completely, leaving them to feel as though they weren’t experiencing the full benefits that apprenticeships can offer. It was also reported by TES that, due to restrictions, the number of people starting on an apprenticeship halved during the first lockdown. 

Despite the hardships apprentices faced during the pandemic, things are now on the up. The 2020-2021 Annual Report by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education found that, thanks to the introduction of online training, over 50,000 people were able to complete their apprenticeships during lockdown. And the good news only continues for apprentices.  

The ‘Build the Future’ Apprenticeship Survey from The Open University revealed that 66% of employers who continued to train their apprentices during the pandemic have said it’s allowed their businesses to recover faster than anticipated. Further to that, 70% of employers agree that apprenticeships will be crucial in the journey toward helping businesses recover from the impact of Covid-19, and 72% of employers have announced plans to take on more apprentices over the next 12 months.  

At Futures, we’ve always appreciated the incredible value of apprenticeships and are optimistic that their popularity will continue to grow in the coming years.

The last 18 months have been incredibly challenging for us all; as the economy starts to recover and work and life gets back to a new norm, it’s great to see employers’ confidence in training new recruits and there existing workforce in an apprenticeship is increasing. 

Apprenticeships are a vital part of ensuring businesses have a workforce with the right skills to compete in an increasingly competitive landscape. 

I am confident that, at Futures, we have the right people with the right skills to help both individuals and businesses access the information and support they need to find the apprenticeship that’s right for them.

Whether you’re looking to take your first steps in a new career or improve the skills you already have, an apprenticeship could be the right choice for you. At Futures, we offer apprenticeships from a Level 2 to a Level 6, meaning there’s something for everyone, no matter what stage of life you’re in.

Sandra Cowley, Commercial Director, Futures

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