National Apprenticeship Week 2021 is set to be held between February 8th and 14th next year, a week-long celebration of apprenticeships that really serves to highlight the excellent work being done by both apprentices and employers alike around the country.
The event will be a little different in 2021, in that it will also recognise how businesses of all shapes and sizes, and across all sectors and industries, have risen to the challenges presented by the global pandemic.
Announcing the event for 2021, Gillian Keegan – apprenticeships and skills minister – said: “It has been fantastic to see how employers of all sizes have gone above and beyond to ensure apprentices can continue their studies during this unprecedented time. The week is also an opportunity to shine a light on how apprentices of all ages and backgrounds are helping to transform businesses across the country.
“As a former apprentice I know what a life changing experience it can be, and I’m looking forward to being part of National Apprenticeship Week 2021 and seeing first-hand the inspiring ways apprentices and their employers continue to deliver.”
Now that we know when the 2021 event will take place, the team here at Encompass Consultancy thought we’d take a little look back at what we achieved last year over the course of the seven days. Have a read – and get in touch if you’d like to find out more.
We kicked off the event with an article from our project management tutor, Richard Morley, focusing on progression routes for business administrator apprentices, encouraging us all to think about the transferable skills provided by this particular apprenticeship standard.
These skills include communication with stakeholders at various levels, planning and organising, decision-making, managing performance, interpersonal skills, adaptability and responsibility and more.
We also worked closely with local Hull-based organisation Trident, partnered with its learning and development facility to deliver apprenticeship standards such as team leader/supervisor, operations/departmental manager, associate project manager, accounts/finance assistant and business administrator.
And on the third day of National Apprenticeship Week 2020, we attended the Houses of Parliament for a reception and address, part of being a finalist for the Association of Employment and Learning Providers and FE Week AAC Procurement Provider of the Year, an amazing honour and we were delighted to be recognised for our contributions to apprenticeships.
It’s always so heartening for us to hear from our learners themselves to hear just how much of an impact apprenticeships have had on their career and this is something we showcased last year, as well.
Team leader/supervisor apprentice Joanna, for example, had this to say: “Before my team leader apprenticeship, I was scared and didn’t believe in myself. Six months into the programme, I was promoted to a permanent team leader role. The apprenticeship gave me the knowledge and tools to support, manage and develop my team members.
“I have started taking on greater responsibilities, such as project management, planning workloads and managing resources. Most of all, the apprenticeship has helped me to believe in myself.”
And Leanne, a commercial procurement and supply apprentice, said: “Even though I was stable and had a three-year fixed contract with our city council, I decided I wanted a new challenge in life and wanted to ensure that I was on the correct career path.
“Accepting my commercial procurement and supply apprenticeship was the best thing I decided to do. I am challenged and stretched to my full potential, as well as being welcomed by everyone in all areas.”
Looking at National Apprenticeship Week 2020 as a whole, there were numerous highlights, with the government emphasising just how successful the week was. More than 900 events took place across England, while over 1,700 articles, features and interviews about apprenticeships appeared in the media on a local, regional and national scale.
Further education director with the Education and Skills Funding Agency Peter Mucklow encouraged apprentices, partners, providers and employers to begin planning for next year’s event now so that everyone can join in the week, celebrating just what an impact apprenticeships can have on individuals, businesses and public services.
He went on to say that more details about the 2021 week will be released over the coming months, while the theme of the event is due to be announced in the autumn.
The theme of last year’s event was Look Beyond, celebrating the diversity of apprenticeships that are now available and the benefits that being an apprentice can bring.
Anyone over the age of 16 can be an apprentice, as long as they spend at least 50 per cent of their working hours in England throughout the duration of the apprenticeship. They can be offered to new entrants or be used to develop existing talent within an organisation, providing employees with the necessary skills, knowledge and behaviours necessary to do their jobs effectively.
The apprenticeships themselves consist of both on and off-the-job training, with the later making up at least 20 per cent of the course. This could include regular daily classroom sessions, practical training such as shadowing and mentoring, or industry visits.
On-the-job training, meanwhile, can help people develop specific skills in the workplace, overseen by a workplace mentor. Benefits of doing an apprenticeship include greater employee satisfaction, a drop in staff turnover and a reduction in recruitment costs.
Interested in finding out more about commercial procurement and supply apprenticeship and others? Get in touch with Encompass today.