Like many people, I'm always alert to mentions of my hometown in the news and living close to the Rural Capital of Food, references tend to be of a culinary nature. So I was interested to read that entrepreneur and founder of Pimlico PlumbersCharlie Mullins, is an advocate of raising the reputation of 'British Apprenticeships' by giving the term something akin to protected food name status, just like the ubiquitous Melton Mowbray pork pie.

The Government announcement of the apprenticeship levy in last year's budget prompted a celebratory Mr Mullins to applaud the move which he felt would give 'British Apprenticeships' a value akin to champagne, Parma ham or my local pie-crust favourite.

Of course, Charlie is right to welcome the Government's commitment to create 3 million apprenticeship opportunities. National Apprenticeship Week earlier this month was a reminder, not only of the value of apprenticeships to the UK economy, but why they're a great route for training and a successful professional career.
Earning a crust

As I mentioned in last month's blog, Edge launched its Career Footsteps campaign in February to highlight the options available to young people as they approach school-leaving age.

For many youngsters, 'learning by doing' can be a much more effective way to study. Acquiring practical skills can give students confidence and resilience, and even give them an advantage over their peers who start work directly from university.

While we might imagine this applies to manual skills in subjects like engineering or future employees of Charlie Mullins, it can apply to all sorts of occupations.
Bekah Leonard, aged 19, was set to follow the customary route from A-levels to university. She says:

'If someone said to me a year ago I would be doing an apprenticeship, I would have laughed and said, 'Don't be silly. I don't know anything about engineering.'

Now in the second year of her journalism apprenticeship with career development website Uni's not for me, Bekah has no regrets and is relishing her role.
'The best part is that unlike those doing journalism degrees, I'm earning while I learn. I've gained independence as well as confidence in my ability, and more experience than I'd have thought possible at just 19 years old.'

Bekah is supporting the Career Footsteps campaign and says she loves her job because, 'I've already been published hundreds of times.'

Skilling not filling

The imperative behind the creation of new apprenticeships is not just to provide alternative career pathways, but to develop a skill base to help the UK economy grow over the longer term.

Earlier in March, Chippenham MP Michelle Donelan secured a Westminster Hall debate on Engineering Skills: Design and Technology Education, highlighting the fall in the number of students taking Design and Technology at GCSE level and the perennially low number of girls taking STEM subjects.

For many UK companies, offering apprenticeships is a key part of a successful growth strategy ensuring they have the skilled workforce they need. Engineering company Renishaw is hiring 45 apprentices this year. Renishaw apprentices have gone on to achieve a full honours degree and many who joined the company in the late 80s are now Divisional Directors and Board members. Providing quality apprenticeships benefits employers too.

Founder and Chief Executive, Sir David McMurtry says:

"I think apprenticeship schemes are very important to British industry. Getting people onto practical apprenticeships and then university has been one of the key elements in our success at Renishaw."

The roll out

Until we dispel myths that apprenticeships are a second rate career option, then we will fail many of our young people, both boys and girls, as well as the UK economy. The apprenticeship levy should be an opportunity to extend 'learning by doing' in larger companies and big corporates and to a much wider range of professions, while still allowing SMEs to do what they have always done well.

Recently I read that NHS Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group is creating 40 new apprenticeships in business administration and healthcare assistant roles in local GP practices. Charlie Mullins is an inspiring champion for apprenticeships, but we need our apprentices to come in all sorts of uniforms. Rather like a Melton Mowbray pork pie and Parma ham, they may be different, but they can enjoy the same status.

Alice Barnard is chief executive of Edge

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 13 hours 21 minutes ago

RT @FENews: NGWLive: Network Rail: NGWLive: Network Rail https://t.co/zqS6YwqgxP
View Original Tweet

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 17 hours 30 minutes ago

City of London Corporation provides Square Mile schoolchildren with food vouchers during half term break:… https://t.co/QilxKc8yaD
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page