Josie Rothera, Course Director for MSs Civil Engineering at Leeds Beckett University (and an Institute Route Panel Member for Construction)

#NationalApprenticeshipWeek is the perfect opportunity to remind ourselves of all the ways that apprenticeships can add value to a sector. Josie Rothera, Course Director for MSs Civil Engineering at Leeds Beckett University (and an Institute Route Panel Member for Construction), has written about just that…

Back with a bang

It’s great to see apprenticeships are back with a ‘fired-up’ bang!

Since Leeds Beckett University became a Training Provider for Civil Engineering Degree Apprenticeships in 2018, we’ve seen our numbers of apprentices more than double in one year.  I’m always in awe of the quality, determination and professionalism of the apprentices here – it’s a testament to the benefits that an apprenticeship and employer partnership can bring when it comes to learning.

Civil Engineering is just one of the apprenticeships on offer here, and the list is growing!  For businesses, the return on investment and skills advantages that a properly structured and delivered apprenticeship can offer will add value and maturity though the organisation. These apprentices are on the first step to acquiring new skills, knowledge and behaviours, that can engender new cultures of lifelong learning in workforces across all sectors.  We’re never too old to learn new tricks!

Addressing the gaps

And while I think about age, apprenticeships also contribute to another challenge we have – which is increasing the diversity of the workforce by encouraging more people to take roles in the industry where currently there are shortfalls of skills.

In 2019, 16% of construction employees were female, and 7% from BAME backgrounds (CITB, 2019), and other diverse groups such as those who are older than a typical apprentice or have disabilities could also find roles in the industry.  As apprenticeships gain popularity, recruitment strategies can be adapted to make sure that diversity plays a key role when considering applicants. This, in turn, will allow the industry to grow on a more inclusive basis.

My role at the Institute

I recently joined the Institute for Apprenticeship and Technical Education as a Construction Route Panel member to be part of a wider, employer-led initiative that really questions what skills are needed for roles in our industry.  It’s absolutely fantastic to see and speak to people that are passionate about making sure that there are choices to support all abilities, and end with a role which might just be that stepping stone that will inspire and motivate for a long time yet.

To explain more about the apprenticeship offer and the benefits, I’ve put together some answers to the questions that I often get asked:

Advertisement

What’s the context?

 There are some very clear facts to consider:

  • Fact: getting an education is not cheap!
  • Fact: populations are growing
  • Fact: the built environment needs adapting and future resilience
  • Fact: innovation in technology will continue to outpace the built environment

Why is doing an apprenticeship so appealing?

To put it simply, you get an education and learn on the job, and most importantly get paid a competitive salary with a transparent pay structure as you progress.

You also get a team of mentors to support you, consisting of those who work with you daily, and those that will review your progress against the Apprenticeship Standard.

You will develop interpersonal skills, and from this will gain in confidence and better understanding of the importance of the built environment industry to the UK.

Finally, you can start your very important built environment network.  Those people that you will turn to time and time again for technical or professional guidance as your go through your career.

The Construction 2025 Report (2013) also gave four targets for the industry, and two of these can be mapped to the benefits of apprenticeships:

  • 33% lower costs – Apprenticeships offer a better Return on Investment (ROI) for organisations, as recruitment strategies can be enhanced, there is a better employee retention over a longer period, and staff development can be structured.
  • 50% faster delivery – the End Point Assessment of the Apprenticeship makes sure that there is a support network and an end to the process which is timebound and thereby guarantees delivery focus.

But who benefits?

Everyone benefits! The direct stakeholders for apprenticeships are the apprentices themselves, the team that they are working in, and the education establishment they are learning at – and the completion of the apprenticeship is positive to all these stakeholders. There are also benefits for the organisation that the apprentice is working for, along with Professional Body organisations and the wider industry sector.

Overall, winning at apprenticeships will contribute substantially at all levels in the industry – and it’s my hope they’ll soon become business as usual for all.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Advertisers

Newsroom Activity

Solvendis added a new event 13 minutes ago

Effective Self Assessment & Improvement Planning (Zoom...

The self-assessment process is, further, the key way in which providers can measure the effectiveness of their provision against the EIF. Under the...

  • Friday, 07 August 2020 10:00 AM
  • Zoom Conferencing

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