The UK’s 10th annual National Apprenticeship Week will be taking place from 6 to 10 March 2017. Co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service, the week is designed to celebrate the positive impact apprenticeships and traineeships have on individuals, businesses and the economy.
The overarching theme for National Apprenticeship Week 2017 is ‘Ladder of Opportunity!’- focusing on the progression routes of apprenticeships, from traineeships through to higher and degree apprenticeships.
Apprenticeship has a long and honourable tradition, from the 13th century master craftsmen operating within the guild system trained their successors, usually for a seven year term, admitting those who completed their apprenticeship and journeyman year to the guild.
In modified form this system of training survived until the Industrial Revolution when attitudes towards training and employment changed. Today apprentices are aged 16 or over and combine working with studying for a work-based qualification – from GCSEs or equivalent up to degree level. Apprenticeships can last from 1 to 4 years, depending on the level of qualification the apprentice is studying for.
Employers can apply for funding to cover the costs of an apprentice’s qualification if they are providing their formal study as well as being their employer, otherwise the training organisation which provides the apprentice’s training will get funding.
An apprentice must be paid at least the minimum wage during their placement and must:
- work with experienced staff
- learn job-specific skills
- study for a work-based qualification during their working week (for example, at a college or training organisation)
The CBI, TUC and a wide range of employers support apprenticeships and work with industry to develop the modern apprenticeship frameworks. Apprenticeships can also be the basis for training more established employees.
Thousands of organisations around the country are taking on apprentices in order to grow their businesses and solve recruitment challenges and to provide training that’s tailored to the needs and requirements of the organisation.
Some key facts
- Apprenticeships are available in 1500 job roles, covering more than 170 industries, from advertising to youth work and from environmental engineering to legal.
- There are currently 100 higher and degree apprenticeships available, with more in development, including foundation degrees, HNDs and full honours degrees. These include job roles ranging from legal services to banking and engineering.
- After finishing, 7 in 10 apprentices (77%) stay with the same employer.
- 46% of apprentices had received a pay rise since completing their apprenticeship.
- 36% of higher apprentices report getting a promotion after completing their apprenticeship.
The National Apprenticeship Show will take place in Milton Keynes on 13 and 14 March 2017.