National Apprenticeship Week 2018 was officially launched at the BBC today – with the announcement of a new ground-breaking apprenticeship programme. 

Held at BBC Broadcasting House with social mobility charity, the Sutton Trust, the launch event was hosted by BBC Home Affairs Editor Mark Easton and Claire Paul, the BBC’s Director of Leadership Development and New Talent. Secretary of State for Education Damian Hinds MP, BBC Director General Tony Hall and Sue Husband, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service were all in attendance.

The ‘Apprenticeships Work’ themed National Apprenticeship Week is the 11th annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships and during the week employers and apprentices from across England will come together to showcase the success of apprenticeships whilst encouraging even more people to choose apprenticeships as a pathway to a great career.

Secretary of State for Education Damian Hinds MP said:

I welcome the ambitions of BBC Academy and the Sutton Trust to increase the number of disadvantaged young people taking up apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships play a crucial role in helping people realise their potential as they learn and earn, and are providing employers with the skilled workforce our country needs.

This National Apprenticeship Week we want to show that apprenticeships offer a great route into skilled employment for people of all ages and backgrounds, so that everyone can access the excellent career opportunities apprenticeships offer.

The new apprenticeship programme announced today by the BBC will be based in London and Salford and has been designed to support 50 school leavers from socially diverse backgrounds, to apply for apprenticeships, developed with advice from the Sutton Trust. The programme will run from September 2018 to March 2020 and will prepare students for applications to apprenticeships in the BBC and wider creative sector - including the BBC Production, Digital Journalism and Broadcast Operations schemes which start in September 2020.

Claire Paul, the BBC’s Director of Leadership and New Talent said:

This new scheme aims to give a leg up to young people who have the raw talent to succeed but perhaps don’t have the confidence to apply for highly competitive apprenticeships. We’ll be offering them training in a wide range of employability skills such as interview techniques and coaching to give them an equal shot at success.

Sir Peter Lampl, Founder and Chairman of the Sutton Trust added:

The government’s target for apprenticeships by 2020 is 3 million. We know that young people from low and moderate income backgrounds are much less likely than their peers to take up the most prestigious apprenticeships.

To make sure apprenticeships fulfil their potential as a vehicle for social mobility, it will be crucial to improve access to those that offer real alternatives to A-levels and degrees. The BBC’s new programme will play an important part by enabling more young people from low-income homes to access high-quality apprenticeships in the media.

Sue Husband, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service concluded:

Having the 11th National Apprenticeship Week launch with the news of this commitment from the BBC is great for the sector, for employers, for local communities and for individuals who are looking to progress in their career through an apprenticeship.

We want to see workforces represent the community they serve and it’s great to see committed employers like the BBC develop strategies and programmes to extend the reach of their apprenticeship programme to socially diverse backgrounds.

I am looking forward to hearing more this week about what other employers have planned to ensure they open up their apprenticeship programmes to individuals who may not typically have considered them applicable and achievable themselves.

Jason Holt CBE and Chief Executive of HoltsGroup was announced as Chair of the Apprenticeship Ambassador Network at today’s launch event.

The Apprenticeship Ambassador Network aims to grow the apprenticeship programme by engaging with new employers whilst promoting all aspects of apprenticeships - including traineeships, higher level apprenticeships and introducing new sectors to apprenticeships.

A second BBC programme, also announced today, will be based in Cardiff, Wales and will offer 10 full time, paid, pre-employment traineeships to high potential raw talent with the ambition to apply for 10 BBC Wales Journalism Apprenticeships. The programme will be supported by further opportunities for young people to attend BBC ‘Boot Camp’ training sessions and access to work experience placements.

You can find images from the event on the National Apprenticeships Service Flickr page.

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