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These are difficult times for employers and apprentices, with economic forecasts for this year estimating our economy will shrink by 9.2 per cent. Unemployment has risen and could increase two-fold to over 10 per cent. Covid-19 has had a significant impact on apprentice recruitment, with the pandemic affecting young people’s employment prospects disproportionately.

According to recent data, 13,732 apprenticeship starts were anticipated for the start of April, however only 2,693 were achieved.

In a recent interview for #SkillsWorldLIVE Apprentice minister, Gilligan Keegan, said her “biggest worry is the recruitment of new apprentices”, with businesses not currently focusing on apprenticeships and instead trying to keep afloat.

According to Centre for Economics and Business Research, "ECONOMIC IMPACT OF APPRENTICESHIPS" (2014), apprenticeships contribute around £34 billion to the UK economy, including higher wages, business profits and taxes, and reducing unemployment benefit schemes. It was reported that for every £1 spent on apprenticeships, the economy reaped £21.

More recently, Richard Dorsett, Helen Gray Stefan Speckesser and Lucy Stokes National Institute of Economic and Social Research, Institute for Employment Studies and University of Westminster, published their "Estimating the impact of Traineeships" Final Report (June 2019), which shows strong evidence to support the potential, positive impact of traineeships; suggesting that 12 months after starting their traineeship, 29% of participants had enrolled on an apprenticeship and 57% had started further learning.

Because of the clear positive impact apprenticeships have on the economy and business, chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that any business hiring new young apprentices from the ages of 16 to 24 will receive a £2,000 grant and ages 25 and over will receive £1,500 for the next six months.

Sunak said in a speech to the House of Commons: “We know apprenticeships work. 91 per cent stay in work or go on to further training.” Companies will receive £1,000 to hire trainees in traineeships too.

Should I do an apprenticeship or a traineeship?

If you’re unsure what to do with the next steps in your future, you need to know if an apprenticeship or traineeship is suited for you.

Apprenticeships and traineeships involve full-time or part-time work where apprentices learn the trade while training at a college or organisation approved by the government. The main benefits of training with an apprenticeship are:

  • earning money while training
  • learning on the job as well as off job training
  • achieving a qualification
  • learning valuable skills towards your career

However, the difference between the two is that apprenticeships get paid and usually last for three to four years in a trade area, while traineeships don’t get paid and last anywhere from six weeks to six months in a non-trade area. Traineeships are designed to give young people the confidence to take the first step in pursuing careers and to learn work ready skills on work placements — companies are offering more traineeships to those who scarcely missed out on being offered an apprenticeship, for example, performing slightly poorer compared to another candidate in an interview or assessment.

Northern Powergrid utility apprenticeships

Currently, there are around 1,500 apprenticeship roles in the UK, with leading companies providing the experience you’ll need to achieve a career in your chosen sector.

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For example, Northern Powergrid, provider of EV charger installation and electricity distributor to eight million people across the North East, Yorkshire, and Lincolnshire, has partnered with UK energy and utilities organisations to create job-ready apprenticeships for a diverse and talented workforce. They are prepared with the knowledge and skills to provide a framework for workers in the utility sector to work within governments, regulators, and key interest groups. These apprentices will develop as key workers in investing back into communities, with 50 per cent of Energy and Utilities Jobs website traffic being female, a big win for encouraging women into science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) sectors.

Andy Bilclough, director of field operations at Northern Powergrid, said:

“The Energy and Utilities Sector will require 277,000 people over the next decade to deliver the essential services we provide for our customers.

“We’re one of 30 major organisations that form the Energy and Skills Partnership, working together to ensure the industry has the safe, skilled, diverse, and sustainable workforce needed to deliver essential services to the public now, and to meet the fast-changing requirements in the future.”

Find an apprenticeship near you.

I’m thinking of doing a traineeship

Traineeships can be useful in preparing young people for the world of work, for example in retail or painting and decorating. Quality work placements provide valuable work experience, with the length depending on which company you decide to join. You’ll be taught handy CV writing tips, interview techniques, and on the job skills.

You’ll be assigned a mentor to monitor your progress and make sure you’re receiving the experience you need to move forward. If you didn’t get at least a grade four (grade C in the old GCSE grading) in English or Maths, you could struggle to find a job and develop your career. Traineeships offer the ability to achieve these grades so you’re more employable in the future and perhaps earn a place on an apprenticeship in the future.

Find a traineeship near you.

Young people’s career prospects suffer the most in crises like the current time, with companies trimming recruitment and existing jobs. Government schemes and intervention is helping business get back on its feet and the next generation of workers to get started working towards their futures.

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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.

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