From education to employment

E for Energise! Fri of National Apprenticeship Week #NAW2019 – As it happens

The 12th annual National Apprenticeship Week launched today with the theme ‘Blaze A Trail’, inspired by our new ‘Fire It Up’ national marketing campaign

National Apprenticeship Week 2019 (NAW 2019) will showcase all the incredible opportunities doing an apprenticeship can bring – both for individuals firing up their careers, and for employers blazing a trail in their business and reaping the benefits of employing an apprentice.

In this daily round up we will feature a selection of events, announcements and good news stories from The Week.

Monday 4th March

Top 100 apprenticeship employer league table announced, along with IiP quality mark for apprenticeship employers

Marking the launch of National Apprenticeship Week 2019 with news of a new league table of top apprenticeship employers – blazing their own trail across England – which will rate the Top 100 large apprenticeship employers AND Top 50 SMEs.

A new quality mark for apprenticeships – developed in partnership with Community Interest Company ‘Investors in People’ to shine a light on high-quality apprentice employers has also been announced.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

We’ve transformed apprenticeships in this country. But that wouldn’t have been possible without the employers who have been at the forefront of developing new high-quality apprenticeship opportunities that provide great training, and the employers who have embraced the huge benefits apprenticeships are bringing to their workplaces.

This National Apprenticeship Week, I want to celebrate their contribution – giving thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to learn new skills and secure an exciting career.

Damian Hinds visits WSP Head Office

Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, marked the launch of National Apprenticeship Week with a visit to WSP. WSP are one of the world’s leading engineering professional services consulting firms, who currently employ 180 Advanced, higher and Degree apprentices.

He met current apprentices and took part in a roundtable discussion, learning more about the WSP programme and their apprenticeship experience.

Image showing Damian Hinds on a visit to WSP Head Office.
Damian Hinds visits WSP Head Office

North West Ambulance Service receive Ministerial visit

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton MP today visited the North West Ambulance Service, based in Bolton, to meet some of their apprentices in job roles including ambulance technicians, call handlers and paramedics.

North West Ambulance Service apprentices met by the Minister are trained to deliver the right care, at the right time, in the right place – giving them an excellent foundation to progress in their careers, whilst making a huge difference to the lives of others.

National Apprenticeship Week trending and Steph McGovern supports The Week

This morning National Apprenticeship Week, #BlazeATrail and #NAW2019 all trended on Twitter. Thanks to everyone who got involved!

Steph McGovern, BBC Breakfast Presenter, was also tweeting this morning after she interviewed Adrianna Baker, an inspirational young woman who used her apprenticeship to blaze her own trail.

Adrianna set up her own street food business, and shared with some advice on how to make it on your own.

The Big Assembly 2019

Thousands of students, parents and careers advisers from across the the country joined The Big Assembly 2019 to find out what an apprenticeship could mean for them.

The live video streamed event was hosted by apprentices, and covered topics such as how to apply to an apprenticeship, what the process is like, what it’s like to be an apprentice and what your career holds at the end of the apprenticeship.

Image of the Big Assembly

Media Planet

Fantastic coverage from today’s Media Planet from Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton on the benefits apprenticeships bring to employers and the passion apprentices bring to the workplace.

Blaze – Benefits

Great to see support from employers across Twitter today, with many spelling out how they have benefited from employing apprentices, and their return on investment, using our ‘BlazeATrail’ images. These employers included Hemlow Ltd; Careers in Health and Social Care and Oxford University.


Minister visits Torbay

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton visited Torbay Development Agency and South Devon College, where she met with apprentice employers from across the region at a breakfast event organised by some of their own talented and committed apprentices as part of the Opportunities through Apprenticeships Project.

Image of Anne Milton in Torbay.
Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton visited Torbay Development Agency and South Devon College.

TES ‘Inspiring Apprentices’ campaign

TES launched their ‘Inspiring Apprentices’ campaign yesterday marking the start of National Apprenticeship Week 2019, to spotlight apprentices at all levels and in all industries. The campaign originated by Jason Holt, Chair of the Apprenticeship Ambassador Network and backed by Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton, and will regularly include case studies from both the Apprenticeship Ambassador Network and Young Apprenticeship Ambassador Network, highlighting the benefits apprenticeships bring to both apprentices and employers alike.

Apprentices at Dartmoor National Parks

Dartmoor National Parks have employed apprentices in Conservation Works, Communications and IT since 2016. Each of their apprentices have progressed through the business, bringing new ideas and energy. They are supporting #NAW2019 – it’s great to have their support.

Image of Dartmoor National Parks apprentices.
Dartmoor National Parks apprentices showing their support.

Support from Grantham College

Grantham College are supporting our Blaze Benefits campaign – spelling out the Learning opportunities apprentices get. 71% of their apprentices agreed that their chance of earning a higher wage in the future increased because of their apprenticeship learning and training. Another positive success story!

Grantham College showing their support.
Grantham College showing their support.


BBC Breakfast

Apprenticeships featured on BBC Breakfast this morning, with our Fire It Up campaign star Sarah, a Trainee Ophthalmic Nurse with the NHS, joining Steph McGovern in the studio. Sarah and Steph chatted about all the benefits of apprenticeships for people looking to change career, and how she used an apprenticeship to get her dream job.

You can watch the interview online until 9:15am Thursday 7 March. The apprenticeships content begins at 48 Minutes.

Celebrating apprenticeship beginnings

Anne Milton visited University of East London today to attend an event celebrating over 100 new apprentices starting their apprenticeships. Anne met with staff, employers and apprentices from a wide range of organisations including Barclays Bank, Thames Tideway and NHS Trusts.

#AskAnApprentice trending!

Today was #AskAnApprentice day, and all across the country apprentices took over Twitter and their workplaces to chat about apprenticeships and their journey. Support for the campaign was exceptional, and resulted in #AskAnApprentice trending nationally! Thanks to our Department for Education apprentices Emily, Kevin, Kate and Charmaine, who took over @Apprenticeships to join in the discussion.

Image of Twitter coverage of #AskAnApprentice
#AskAnApprentice trended across the country on Twitter

Anne Milton’s apprentice meet and greet

Yesterday, Anne Milton visited Cornwall Council to meet new and existing apprentices, managers and senior leaders. Anne took part in a roundtable with apprentices who gave her a flavour of the apprenticeship programme and how they have benefited.

Image of Anne Milton meeting apprentices
Anne Milton visited Cornwall Council to meet apprentices.

Media coverage

Yet again apprenticeships, and National Apprenticeship Week, have received some excellent media coverage.

Cosmopolitan ran an online article on ‘14 cool apprenticeships you might not know existed’, and the Evening Standard featured an 8 page special ‘Apprenticeships 2019’.

The Gazette News featured an article on The British Army’s Apprenticeship Awards which took place this week, and the Tees Business website includes a piece on Teesside University’s recent ‘outstanding’ apprenticeship provision inspection by Ofsted.

Blaze Benefits

Our week of Blaze Benefits continues, and today is A for Aspire – an apprentice’s view on what their apprenticeship has enabled them to achieve.

Thanks to everyone who got involved today, including Intraining who shared this brilliant Q&A session with their apprentice Beth.

Wednesday is ‘A for Aspire’.


Anne Milton out and about

Today, Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton visited Bradford Dental apprentices at ‘Dentistry at BD4’, where she had a go at dentistry using a model head and mouth. Minister Milton spent time with the very passionate apprentices in the practice before visiting engineering firm AESSEAL Mechanical Seals & Support Systems, shadowing apprentices designing, and manufacturing mechanical seals.

The Minister’s day was wrapped up with a trip to Bradford College’s Grove Restaurant to meet hospitality apprentices. The Minister helped in the kitchen with food preparation and was invited to a #NAW2019 lunch with local apprentice employers, including Bradford Council, Judith Cummins MP and Bradford Royal Infirmary.

Image of Anne Milton on a visit as part of National Apprenticeship Week.
Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton on a visit as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2019.

Apprenticeships, Skills and Careers for the Future

Our own Apprenticeships, Skills and Careers for the Future event took place earlier today, with the National Careers Service and WorldSkills UK. The event included careers leaders and young people, with inspirational apprentices and Fire It Up campaign stars in attendance, all showcasing the benefits apprenticeships bring to individuals, employers, local communities and the economy.

Image of attendees at the Apprenticeships, Skills and Careers event.
Attendees at Apprenticeships, Skills and Careers event.

Blaze Benefits

Our Blaze Benefits series continued today with Z for Zest.

Thanks again to everyone who took part. We loved hearing +24 Marketing apprentices talk about their zest for success!

Tomorrow is E for Energise, recognising the energy that apprentices bring to a business. Get involved and help us #BlazeATrail.

Twitter coverage of the Blaze benefits series, ‘Z for Zest’.


NAW2019 events map update

Fantastic news to share… we have surpassed 1,000 events taking place across the country this Week – an increase on 2018!

A final tally is being taken and we will share next week!

Invotra visit from minister celebrates International Women’s Day

Today, on International Women’s Day, Education and Skills Minister Anne Milton visited the Digital Accessibility testing lab at Invotra, where she took part in a cyber-security challenge with two fantastic female apprentices.

The minister had lunch with past and current apprentices – representing over a third of Invotra’s total workforce.

Anne Milton MP, having lunch with past and current apprentices
Anne Milton MP, having lunch with past and current apprentices

We also joined in the #IWD2019 conversation online, sharing inspirational female apprenticeship success stories across our social media channels.

There are some truly fantastic female apprentices working in exciting sectors and today’s celebration helped to showcase some of the best female apprentices in England.

MP Ambassador visit

Gillian Keegan MP, MP Apprenticeship Ambassador, attended the ‘How apprenticeships work for SMEs’ event in Chichester today.

Organised by the South East Apprenticership Ambassador Network and the Federation of Small Businesses, the event included levy employers wanting to transfer funds and SMEs in supply chains eager to do more.

Gillian spoke about how she started her career as an apprentice at the age of 16, and employers spoke about the benefits of employing apprentices.

'How apprenticeships work for SMEs' event in Chichester.
‘How apprenticeships work for SMEs’ event in Chichester.

Landmark week for ASK programme

National Apprenticeship Week 2019 has been a landmark week for the ASK programme. The programme, which supports schools and colleges nationwide to improve understanding and awareness around apprenticeships, has supported over 300 school events and activities across the week, resulting in over 16.5k engaged students. A further 425 events have been booked for the rest of March also.

Uptake across the programme’s other NAW2019 resources has been exceptional – 25,000 apprenticeship information posters were distributed to schools nationwide, an activity pack designed to inspire students has been used in more than 2,000 schools and colleges, the online apprenticeships quiz has had over 4,000 participants, and nearly 250 teachers participated by showing the ‘Teacher Talks’ film to their colleagues. Find out more about the ASK programme today.

ASK programme.
ASK programme.

Blaze Benefits

Our Blaze Benefits series ends today with E for Energise.

We have really enjoyed hearing about all the benefits of hiring an apprentice, and how their passion and energy can fire up the whole business.

We hope you will continue to share these positive experiences throughout the year!

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