From education to employment

The Sheffield College backs national campaign showcasing apprentices’ skills

Andrew Hartley, Executive Director of Commercial and Operations, The Sheffield College

The Sheffield College (@SheffCol) is backing a national campaign celebrating the achievements of apprentices and the benefits of skills to employers.

National Apprenticeship Week 2022, from February 7th to 13th, will showcase how apprenticeships work for individuals, employers, communities and the economy.

The theme for the week is a continuation of last year’s ‘build the future’ as the economy continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

New national data from the Department for Education shows that apprenticeship starts are recovering to pre-pandemic levels.

There has been a 43% increase in apprenticeship starts in England from August to October 2021 compared with the same period the previous year.

Apprenticeships enable young people and adults to earn as they learn on-the-job skills, study a qualification, progress in a career and gain employment afterwards.

Andrew Hartley, Executive Director of Commercial and Operations, The Sheffield College, said:

“It’s great to see apprenticeships bouncing back.

“Apprenticeships are an exciting option for young people and adults, boosting their confidence, knowledge and skills, so they go further in a rewarding career.

“Employers are recruiting apprentices across a wide range of sectors to fill skills gaps, upskill and develop a workforce that is future ready.”

During the week, the College will be promoting opportunities and running question and answer sessions with apprentices and employers via its social media channels.

The College’s Apprenticeships+ Recruitment Team will also be on campus to raise awareness of the benefits of apprenticeships amongst students.

The Apprenticeship+ service supports employers to get the skills they need and enables students to become highly employable.  

The Sheffield College is the largest provider of apprenticeships in the city and region. Around 2,500 apprentices are training with more than 1,000 employers.

They include Lauren Cooper, 17, an apprentice civil engineer at Kier Highways.

She said: “I chose this apprenticeship as I saw it as a brilliant opportunity to start my career in civil engineering. It has helped me to develop my skills and confidence in a short space of time and inspired me to go further, achieve more and progress with my career.  

“I’m really enjoying the hands-on experience in the industry and getting involved with so many diverse projects and with the support of so many experienced people. The first design pack I completed was for a scheme on the M6 regarding gantry signage.

Lauren added: “Since then I’ve been involved with other projects such as re-waterproofing schemes and parapet replacements. I help out with various aspects, such as the design drawings in AutoCAD, as well as design documentation which covers health and safety and the environment. Alongside my work, I am also progressing at college with my BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Civil Engineering.

“Once I have completed my apprenticeship, I hope to start on the graduate scheme. I would like to continue to thrive and develop my career as a civil engineering professional in the Kier Highways team. I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship to anyone considering it, as I have really enjoyed my time here so far.” 

Currently, the College has around 40 apprenticeship vacancies ranging from a classroom assistant and dental nurse technician to a kitchen chef and sales office administrator.

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