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An apprenticeship gives you hands-on experience, a salary but most of all the opportunity to train while you work.
An apprenticeship is a real job.

You will:

  • earn a wage and learn at the same time,  at least 20% of your time will be set aside for learning – usually at a college, university or other training provider.
  • gain official certification of your skills, equivalent to a qualification ranging from level 2 (GCSE equivalent) up to degree level.
  • start a long-term career path with the possibility of higher earnings.
    By successfully completing your apprenticeship, you will have gained the confidence and skills needed to progress in your chosen career.
    Apprenticeships are available across a wide range of industries and organisations, from local businesses to large national brands.

News And Opportunities below :-


20 apprenticeships up for grabs as Chichester College pairs with Westergate engineering manufacturer


Young people with a passion for technology or motorsport are being invited to apply for one of 20 apprenticeships in Westergate.

The positions are available at Global Technologies Racing, a composite engineering manufacturer based in Denmans Lane, Westergate, which has teamed up with Chichester College.

Anyone aged 16 or over has the chance to apply for the composite technician apprentice role and start their career in a high-paced, engineering environment.


Applicants should also have a minimum of three GCSEs (or equivalent) at grade 4 (C) or above including English, maths and science.


The apprenticeships will work on a variety of projects at the company across industries which include aeronautical, automotive and motorsport industries.

They will have an opportunity to build structural aero parts, such as body work and wings, for a number of Formula One and Indy car teams..


Andrew Green, executive principal for the Chichester College Group, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for any young person who has a passion for technology or motorsport.

“To be able to work with some of the best in the business, and study on a bespoke apprenticeship programme, which the college has developed with Global Technologies Racing, is a fantastic way to learn while you earn – and give you the work ready skills which will set you up for success.


“We are very proud to be working with Global Technologies Racing to give young people in our local area an incredible chance to change their lives through learning.”

The 20 apprentices will be split into two groups, with the first 10 to start in September 2019 and the second two months later in November.

Applications are now open and the closing date to apply is Friday 19 July.

To apply, visit


Darlington training centre invests to expand

A INDUSTRY-BACKED organisation has completed the latest expansion phase to its national training centre following a £500,000 re-development.

Thermal Insulation Contractors Association (TICA), formed to represent organisations within the industrial and commercial insulation industry, is the sole provider of thermal insulation apprenticeships in the UK.

The six-month build, at TICA’s headquarters in Darlington, has increased the centre’s floor space by 30 per cent creating additional workshops, specialist asbestos training rooms, enhanced classroom provision, new kitchen and toilet facilities and recycling and storage areas.

The centre, funded through TICA membership contributions and voluntary member levies, provides customised training for thermal insulation apprentices, in addition to the delivery of NVQ qualifications and competency assessments for skilled workers.

It is also home to the head office of ACAD, the Asbestos Control and Abatement Division of TICA.

TICA chief executive Marion Marsland said: “Our latest expansion has given us the capacity to provide even more bespoke training.

“In our role as Sector Skills Council we are delivering a greater number of competency assessments to skilled workers as well as accommodating our core apprenticeship facility and these new premises allow us to accommodate both sets of training on the one site.

“We now have an enhanced building that is rich in resources, staffing and facilities, where we are able to consistently produce very high quality training.”



Aberdeenshire Council aims to match apprentices with local companies

Businesses specialising in computer science in the north-east are being encouraged to tap into the region’s talented youth through an apprenticeship scheme.

Aberdeenshire Council’s foundation apprenticeships match young people in their final years at secondary school with companies which are looking to benefit from and help develop the skills of the next generation.

There is no cost to organisations for hosting students, with hundreds of additional apprenticeships offering young people the chance to build their experience at firms between August and March.

The local authority has claimed the scheme represents an ideal opportunity for businesses to be part of supporting emerging talent in the area.

Aberdeenshire Council’s director of education, Laurence Findlay, said: “We’re keen to engage young people in the industries and professions they’re most interested in, and the foundation apprenticeship is a great model for enabling us to do that.

“Offered over a longer period than say a work placement, it really gives employers a chance to make an impact in upskilling emerging talent.”

Gillian Owen, chairwoman of the authority’s education committee, said: “When you see the spark that’s been created between a young person and a business mentor, it all makes sense.

“It’s far beyond the more traditional approach, and absolutely enlightening to find that not only has that business or individual had an impact on that young person’s aspirations and confidence, but the young person has usually been able to open their mentor’s eyes to something new as well.”

Companies specialising in computer science who wish to get involved with the programme should contact Andrew Ritchie on


Hitachi Capital UK launches #apprenticeship scheme for school-leavers


Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC, a leading financial services company with over 35 years’ experience providing innovative finance solutions for consumers and businesses across the UK and Europe, today launches Gamechangers, a pioneering partnership with Visionpath to create exciting career opportunities for school-leavers from diverse social backgrounds.

Through a year-long programme combining career insight, interactive assessments and long-term career mentoring, Gamechangers will improve access for school-leavers whose location, background or circumstances mean they may not be aware of career opportunities in financial services.

Gamechangers will result in 20 young people being offered apprenticeships when they leave school in Summer 2020, across a variety of roles in locations including Leeds, Newbury, Staines, Telford and Trowbridge. All places are offered at Living Wage and carry recognised qualifications.

Commenting on the collaboration, Patrick Philpott, Managing Director at Visionpath said:

“We’re excited to be partnering with Hitachi Capital to create a pioneering programme giving young people a supportive pathway into careers in a sector they may have thought was out of reach. At Visionpath we believe factors like your socio-economic background or your postcode shouldn’t limit your future potential and with Gamechangers we’re ensuring young people from diverse backgrounds in Hitachi Capital’s communities can have the opportunity of a successful career in financial services.”

On the importance of a more socially-diverse workforce, Kiru Raguraman, Director of Employee & Customer Engagement at Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC:

“At Hitachi Capital, we believe in a world where everyone has equal access to opportunities and in our ability to make a difference in creating that world. Gamechangers is our contribution to addressing social mobility constraints in our communities and we are delighted to partner with Visionpath on this important programme. Through Gamechangers, we look forward to supporting and welcoming young people from diverse socio-economic backgrounds to our organisation.”

Gamechangers launches in September 2019, working with Year 13 students in schools across Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC’s communities.

More information for employers, schools or students can be found on the Visionpath website.

by Hitachi Capital UK


Make UK festival ready to inspire future apprentices

Birmingham’s Makers Meet event will give aspiring young engineers and apprentices the opportunity to explore a range of topics, and gain insight from an array of high-profile speakers.

“Young people will be at the heart of the next generation of talent. This festival will provide them with a ground-breaking and inspiring event where they swap ideas and learn from their peers as they embark upon their careers.”

Aspiring young engineers and apprentices will have the opportunity to explore a range of topics at a one-day festival being organised by Make UK, the manufacturers’ organisation.

The Makers Meet event – held at the Custard Factory in Digbeth, Birmingham on Saturday, 20 July – will feature a platform of high-profile speakers who are making an impact in the world of manufacturing and STEM, as well as a range of immersive, informative and aspiring activities, networking opportunities and creative ideas sessions.

Aimed at STEM undergraduates, postgraduates and apprentices between 16-24, speakers will include Dr John Hart, from the Centre for Sports Engineering & Research – the inspiration and brains behind the Great Britain Winter Olympic team clothing – who will discuss the future of Carbon Airspace.

Andrea Bull, head of next generation marketing, Make UK, said: “Young people will be at the heart of the next generation of talent. This festival will provide them with a ground-breaking and inspiring event where they swap ideas and learn from their peers as they embark upon their careers.”

Other speakers include Vanessa Sanyauke, named by the London Business School as one of 30 people changing the world, and Dr Ozak Esu, an award-winning engineer who specialises in strategies to address the challenges faced by the Internet of Things (IoT).

The Conceptual Zones

The format of the day will feature five conceptual zones:

the Main Stage will feature inspirational speakers throughout the day

the Culture Runway will highlight the critical role manufacturing and engineering plays in wider culture

the Tech Zone features a range of displays of manufacturing products

the Great Idea Garden will provide mentoring and networking advice

the Create Change Circle will feature sessions looking at sustainability and the environment linking back to manufacturing.

“As we approach the fourth industrial revolution the future of engineering and manufacturing is at the cusp of immense change and potential. Innovations and technology will change the way we function as human beings,” added Andrea.

For more information, click here, or follow proceedings on Twitter at #THEMAKERSMEET.


Film and TV apprenticeships launched as new Charter pledges greater diversity in Creative Industries

Major studios urged to adopt the British Film Institute’s (BFI) world-leading diversity standards

Film and TV apprenticeships pilot announced as new figures show booming job growth across the Creative Industries

New industry-led diversity charter to drive a step change across all creative sectors

Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright has announced a new apprenticeships pilot scheme to enable young people from underrepresented groups to work on some of the most hotly-anticipated films and TV programmes made in the UK.

Visiting the set of the new James Bond film at the internationally-renowned Pinewood Studios, the Secretary of State also signalled his support for a new Creative Industries Council (CIC) Charter designed to drive greater diversity across the UK’s Creative Industries.

DCMS Secretary of State Jeremy Wright said:

The UK is a powerhouse for award-winning creativity enjoyed by millions globally. But our Creative Industries cannot remain the preserve of the privileged, which is why we are helping to create new opportunities to develop a more diverse workforce.

I welcome the Creative Industries Council’s Diversity Charter and also call for firm commitments from major studios, both in the UK and worldwide, to adopt the BFI’s pioneering Diversity Standards. Companies must provide opportunities for young people from all backgrounds to go as far as their talents take them in this thriving sector.

Building on calls by the CIC and ScreenSkills, DCMS has committed £100,000 to help deliver the innovative Film and TV Apprenticeships pilot which will enable around 25 apprentices to benefit from hands-on experience on the sets of major films and TV shows.

It will explore a new model for how high-quality apprenticeships can be used to deliver multiple placements on film and TV productions, as well as addressing skills shortages.

The pilot will launch in late 2019 with recruitment focussed on young people from all backgrounds and without previous relevant qualifications.

The CIC Charter commits the industry to take action in eight areas to create a more diverse workforce and output that appeals to people from all backgrounds and regions of the UK. It has been formally adopted by the Council, which is made up of leading figures across the Creative Industries including TV, computer games, fashion, music, arts, publishing and film.

The industry-wide pledge builds on a range of initiatives in place across creative sub-sectors including the BFI’s Diversity Standards aimed specifically at the screen industries.

Jeremy Wright has also urged US and UK film studios to follow the example of Paramount and do more to improve diversity in the screen industries by adopting the BFI’s Standards for every current and future production made in the UK.

His visit comes as Pinewood launches its new Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Strategy, with a commitment to encourage all future productions to take up the BFI’s Standards.

New figures show the number of jobs in the Creative Industries sectors stood at just over 2 million in 2018, an increase of 1.6% from 2017 and accounting for 6.2% of all UK jobs. The number of jobs in the Creative Industries has increased by 30.6% from 2011: three times the growth rate of employment in the UK overall.

Barbara Broccoli, OBE, Producer, EON Productions Ltd said:

We are grateful to Jeremy Wright for his determination to get the levy funds our sector pays into the fund unlocked for our largely freelance industry. The film industry is projecting severe skill shortages in the next 5-10 years and it is vital we invest in training through apprenticeships, to ensure that we have a healthy and diverse workforce in the future.

Tim Davie, Chair of the Creative Industries Council said:

Diversity and inclusion is crucial to the vitality of our world class Creative Industries. To sustain our success, and spark creative new ideas, it is vital that we draw on and develop the broadest possible talent pool, and ensure that our businesses and output reflect and resonate with people from all backgrounds.

I am delighted that the CIC has adopted the Diversity Charter. This is a major statement of intent from the creative industries and will help us drive real change across all our sectors, building on the range of initiatives already in place. I look forward to continuing work with colleagues from across the creative industries on this important agenda.

Amanda Nevill, CEO of BFI said

We are living in a time of unprecedented and sustained growth in the UK’s Creative Industries – from being home to the world’s longest standing and most loved franchise that is James Bond to launching the careers of some of the most exciting new storytellers in the world.

But we know that we need upwards of 10000 new entrants to join our industry so it is essential that we find new and existing talent. It’s fantastic to have such solid commitment from Government to insist on diversity and inclusion which sends out such a positive message of welcome to anyone considering a career in this industry.

Seetha Kumar, ScreenSkills CEO said:

We welcome the Government’s move to working with us to unlock the apprenticeship levy for the screen industries. The opportunity to earn while you learn has huge potential to encourage new and diverse talent to join our booming film and television sector while tackling its skills needs. The pilot will provide an opportunity to stress-test a new approach to using levy funds to deliver high-quality training. We are working on ironing out the details as it is vital to find a way for the apprenticeship levy to support UK screen.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

It’s great that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is investing in apprenticeships to help more young people from underrepresented groups to pursue a career in TV and film.

Apprenticeships give people of all backgrounds the chance to learn the skills they need to get a great job. There are a range of high-quality and exciting apprenticeship opportunities available in creative industries – everything from Junior 2D Artist, to Broadcast production assistant or Post production technical operator.

“I would urge anyone who is thinking of a career in the sector to visit our apprenticeships website and kick-start their apprenticeships journey today.”

Published 4 July 2019

From: Department for Digital, Culture, Media & SportDepartment for Education, and The Rt Hon Jeremy Wright MP


New apprenticeship service launches for Greater Cambridge


The Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) has launched a new apprenticeship scheme with the express objective of creating more than 400 new apprenticeships across Greater Cambridge.

The new service has been developed to plug the skills gap and fulfil a need for better trained and qualified employees in what is Europe’s largest technology cluster. Around 57,000 people are employed by the more than 1,500 technology-based firms in the area, which have combined annual revenue of over £13 billion.

The apprenticeship service welcomes students seeking any type of apprenticeship but especially the much sought after STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths.

Two organisations, Form the Future CIC and Cambridge Regional College (CRC), will work together to manage the new service on behalf of the GCP and thus expand the number and range of apprenticeships. Many schools and parents find it difficult to advise young people on apprenticeship opportunities, so the service will help students to find, apply for and secure a position.

Cambridge Regional College will support businesses by helping them to establish how their skills gaps could be filled with apprentices, to find the right training provider, and to understand charges, grants and other considerations.

Form the Future will be responsible for communicating the service to students and parents and highlight the opportunities that apprenticeships can provide. It will also help students get onto schemes with employers via group work, careers fairs and provision of 1:1 preparation.

As part of the service, a new website will be launched which will enable students to register interest and enable employers to promote apprenticeship opportunities.

The service is encouraging schools and employers in the region to sign a pledge committing to taking an active part in the service. And some existing apprentices have volunteered as ambassadors to encourage students to consider apprenticeships. They will do this mainly online via social media but they will also visit schools to meet potential apprentices.

The overall approach is to challenge preconceptions about apprenticeships: who can sign up, the types available, the benefits – including the chance to ‘earn while you learn’ – and crucially, how to land an apprenticeship role. Surveys by Form the Future have revealed that more can be done to encourage parents and students to consider an apprenticeship.

 Aidan Van de Weyer, chair of the GCP, said:

 “Greater Cambridge is growing and we must do all we can to make sure we make the most of this incredible growth and opportunities here. Increasing the number of apprenticeships is a key commitment of the GCP and helps both those getting into work and businesses themselves.

 “I’m delighted to see this service launched today to help get those looking for an apprenticeship in touch with those who can deliver them.”

Mark Robertson, Principal and CEO of Cambridge Regional College, said: “We’re delighted to be part of the initiative for which we will be both a delivery partner and training establishment. The college plays a vital role in ensuring our students learn skills that employers want. Apprenticeships are a wonderful opportunity for students who do not wish to go to university but want to secure a skilled and rewarding job. It’s also very satisfying to be playing a key part in helping boost the region’s growth”.

 Anne Bailey, co-founder and Director of Form the Future CIC, said: “Apprenticeships are not only a tremendous opportunity for young learners to start a great career but they’re also important in improving social mobility. As a facilitator of this service, we have three vital roles. Firstly in raising awareness, secondly in de-mystifying apprenticeships for students and their parents or carers, and thirdly in helping students identify the apprenticeships they want and managing their expectations and preparing them for interviews”.

To read more information, click here.


Degree apprenticeship programme showcased by Health Education England

The University’s Advanced Clinical Practice degree apprenticeship has been showcased in a new video from Health Education England.

The video, filmed at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, examines how employers have worked in partnership with the University to develop a curriculum alongside students, service users and carers.

Degree apprenticeships enable levy-paying organisations to spend their apprenticeship levy and develop their workforce to meet their skills needs. There is close collaboration through the duration of the apprenticeship, with regular review meeting with the apprentice, employer and the university.

Health Education England is the national leadership organisation for education, training and workforce development in the health sector.

To find out more about our Advanced Clinical Practitionerprogramme, visit


Amazon will create 2,000 jobs in the UK this year, bringing its total permanent British workforce to almost 30,000 people.


The new roles are spread around the country, from the London head office to a growing network of delivery centres.

They include at least 170 jobs at development centres in London, Cambridge and Edinburgh.

The new corporate office in Manchester is also hiring.

The tech giant said it would create a number of high-skilled positions for engineers, software developers, data scientists and cloud and machine learning experts.

The move has already been praised as “a clear vote of confidence in the British economy” by Chancellor Philip Hammond.


He said: “This Government is supporting business to create the high-skilled, high-paid jobs of the future, and these roles will benefit people across the UK, including the cities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, Manchester and London.”

The fresh figure is lower than last year’s total of 2,500 new jobs, and well below 2017 when the opening of a new head office helped to add 5,000 roles.

Amazon’s UK country manager Doug Gurr said the company was continuing to invest and grow its British business.

“The UK is a fantastic hub for global talent and the exciting, innovative work that takes place here benefits Amazon’s customers around the world,” he said.

“Whether you are looking for a highly specialised role at one of our fulfilment centres or in a field such as machine learning or flight engineering, we offer a wide variety of opportunities.”

The newest announcement is in addition to Amazon’s commitment to create more than 1,000 new UK apprenticeships over the next two years, which was announced in February.


U.K. launches tourism deal


The U.K. launched its first tourism-sector deal, designed to prepare the country for an expected increase of 9 million visitors per year.

The deal will include a commitment to build 130,000 hotel rooms by 2025, 75% of which will be built outside of London.

There also will be a new tourism data hub, which will collate regularly updated data showing the latest trends and spends, with the aim of allowing businesses to better target overseas visitors.

In addition, more than $315 million is being earmarked to improve broadband connectivity in conferences centers across the U.K. for business visitors.

The deal will support the creation of an additional 10,000 apprenticeships for people building careers in the tourism and hospitality sectors.

The U.K. is also committing to improving facilities and access to destinations across the country for travelers with disabilities.

A pilot of up to five Tourism Zones are being created to drive visitor numbers across the country, each of which will receive government support for initiatives like targeted support for product and promotion development, mentoring support to businesses and digital skills training.

“As part of the tourism deal, new Tourism Zones will deliver a direct boost to holiday destinations across the country, helping create new jobs as well as supporting improvements in transport connections,” said Greg Clark, the U.K.’s business secretary.

Tourism plays a vital role in the U.K. economy, with nearly 2 million people employed in the industry across the country and $29 billion spent by visitors in the U.K. last year.


Degree Apprenticeships at York St John University

Work-based, vocationally-driven courses

Our Degree Apprenticeships offer you the opportunity to gain a degree whilst getting valuable workplace experience.

We work with employers to co-design a learning programme that best fits the needs of the industry. You then benefit from this cutting-edge and highly relevant training during your work-based apprenticeship; all underpinned by the rigorous subject knowledge of an Undergraduate qualification.

Apprentices will typically work full-time and study part-time. Our courses will test your academic learning and your workplace capabilities, whilst ensuring that you are offered industry-specific training and support throughout your learning.

You will normally be offered a salary for your apprenticeship and will not have to pay course fees. 

Our apprenticeship programmes:


Blended learning (a mixture of block and online learning) typically delivered over three years.

Suitable for new recruits to management positions and developing aspiring/existing managers already in employment who do not have a relevant management degree.

Multiple starting points during the year: October, January, April, July.

2-year fast-track option available (subject to experience and accredited prior learning).


Through extensive national consultation with employers, the University has developed a programme that will enable apprentices to provide valuable resource within a competitive, challenging global business environment. Studying at our York or London Campus, apprentices can work within the following areas:

Statistics and data analysis

Computer Science

Mathematical Foundations

Modelling and Systems

Communication and Visualisation

Applications and business context

Interdisciplinary and integration

The programme is led by Dr Pierre-Philippe Dechant.


This four year degree programme underpins the Laboratory Scientist Degree Apprenticeship standard and provides work-based solutions for workforce development and training.

Developed with employers, the programme incorporates interactive learning, on-site academic support and short teaching blocks in the summer.

It supports individuals wanting to progress their career, covering relevant roles in the life science supply chain from research through development and into manufacturing.

The Degree Apprenticeship is delivered by onsite including tutorials, practicals and workshops in addition to some self-directed learning via the University’s e-learning platform, Moodle. Moodle will also be used to document your 20% off the job activities during your apprenticeship.


Level 7: Masters in Business Administration plus Chartered Manager/Fellow with the CMI

Suitable for people moving into or developing within a senior management role

Multiple starting points during the year: October, January, March or June

For more information on our degree apprenticeship programmes, call us on +44(0)1904 876603 or email


Save the date – National Apprenticeship Week 2020 to be held 3 to 7 February 2020


The 13th annual National Apprenticeship Week date has been announced today – and will take place from 3 to 7 February 2020.

National Apprenticeship Week is an annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships across England and is a time to recognise and applaud apprenticeship success stories across the country.

Apprenticeship employers use the opportunity to promote the success of their apprentices and highlight the huge benefits to other employers, of all sizes, who are thinking of taking on an apprentice.

Apprentices across the country will also be celebrated throughout the week, with engagement and events in schools and colleges. Many current and former apprentices will go back to school to tell their story, attracting the next generation of apprentices, so they too can fire up their future career.

Throughout the 13 years, National Apprenticeship Week has brought together apprenticeship supporters from across the country, with MPs, ambassadors, apprentices, training providers and top employers involved in recognising the value and importance of apprenticeships.

For NAW2020 we want even more people to get behind the week, to build on last year’s success, which included:

Over 1250 events taking place across England;

NAW2019, National Apprenticeship Week and #BlazeATrail all trending UK wide on Twitter over the course of the Week;

Over 30,000 unique visits to the NAW resource pages on GOV.UK;

And a hugely successful #askanapprentice day with employers, including TUI, Bentley Careers, Siemens UK, AXA Insurance and Cisco all getting involved.

Anne Milton, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills said:

“I am thrilled that National Apprenticeship Week 2020 will take place during early February 2020. It’s a chance to celebrate apprentices and the brilliant work being done by schools, the FE sector and employers across the country to promote the huge benefits of apprenticeships.

“Apprenticeships offer people of all ages and backgrounds a high-quality route to skilled employment with the option to train at every level in a range of exciting professions like aerospace engineering, data science, teaching, law, nursing, and fashion. 

“This year we had over 1250 events and 1900 articles and features in publications from the Financial Times to Cosmopolitan. I would encourage employers, training providers, schools, apprentices and our ambassador networks to start considering how they will get involved in National Apprenticeship Week 2020.  We want next year to be even bigger and better reaching even more people and employers so they understand the advantages apprenticeships bring”.

The theme of National Apprenticeship Week 2020 will be announced in the Autumn.

Keith Smith, apprenticeships director, Education and Skills Funding Agency/Department for Education added:

“A week-long celebration of all things apprenticeships gives opportunity to recognise the importance of apprenticeships and their impact. National Apprenticeship Week also enables employers, providers, partners and apprentices themselves to creatively celebrate what apprentices achieve and the impact they have locally, regionally and nationally.

“In the coming months we will release more details for the Week 2020, but by sharing the date in advance I am hopeful that our many partners will start to plan some fresh and inspiring activity that they will run during National Apprenticeship Week 2020.”

More information on National Apprenticeship Week 2020 will be announced on GOV.UK and on social media channels. Follow @Apprenticeships on Twitter and National Apprenticeship Service on LinkedIn to keep up to date.

Published 1 July 2019

From:Education and Skills Funding Agency


LSBU becomes first UK university to launch full planning apprenticeship


London South Bank University (LSBU) has become the first UK university to launch a full Chartered Town Planner apprenticeship (Level 7) in partnership with the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).

Around 100 delegates, including representatives from local authorities and private sector companies plus LSBU and RTPI staff, attended a launch event at LSBU’s Passmore Centre for Professional and Technical Education.


There was a full house for the launch of LSBU’s Chartered Town Planner Apprenticeship

RTPI’s Head of Careers, Education & Professional Development Andrew Close said: “We’re delighted to be working with LSBU which is one of up to eight RTPI-accredited Planning Schools developing Degree Apprenticeships for approval this year.

“The RTPI has championed diversity and new routes into the profession with ‘grow your own’ opportunities for employers across the country and it’s excellent to see this is bearing fruit as part of the pipeline of future planners.”

Speaking at the event, Professor Craig Barker, Dean of LSBU’s School of Law and Social Sciences, said: “LSBU is already renowned in the industry for excellence in delivering town planning qualifications. We are very proud to be able to build on this heritage now with our new Chartered Town Planner apprenticeship scheme.”

On completion of their course, successful apprentices will gain an RTPI fully-accredited qualification and become a Chartered Member of the RTPI, allowing them to use the post-nominals MRTPI and the title ‘Chartered Town Planner’.

More information on the new Level 7 Chartered Town Planner apprenticeship programme can be found here



The Armed Forces are the biggest backer of apprenticeships in the UK.


Around 11,000 new starters join the Army each year, with 90 per cent enrolling on an “earn as you learn” scheme.

Plus, 2,500 join the RAF and up to 5,000 the Navy.

The Army offers one of the largest range of apprenticeships, with 40 different programmes.

Choices range from plumbing, carpentry and driving to telecoms, cooking and animal care.

Col Jo Burgon, head of education branch, says: “We are proud to offer our soldiers a nationally-recognised and accredited occupational apprenticeship.”

Sign up to join with parental consent from 16.

Courses are open to anyone aged 18-36, with a GCSE in maths and English.



UK engineering sector leads the way in apprentice recruitment

A new survey has found more than 50% of engineering firms in the UK have taken on an apprentice in the last two years.

The survey, carried out by the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) and Close Brothers Asset Finance, looked across a range of sectors, including food and drink, retail, recruitment and services, finding that the only other sector employing apprentices at a similar rate to engineering firms was construction.

The survey also found that the biggest barrier to employing an apprentice was not the Apprenticeship Levy, but the lack of suitable candidates and problems with training providers.

Steve Gee, CEO of Close Brothers Asset Finance’s industrial equipment division, said: “Over the past four years Close Brothers Asset Finance, working in partnership with the MTA and University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre, have funded the training of 60 apprentices. It is very encouraging to see the results of this survey and we are proud of the part we have played.”

Under the scheme, Close Brothers Asset Finance has helped pay for apprentices to learn their skills at the University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre, funding half of the new recruits’ wages during the first year and a quarter in the second. This has meant participating SMEs have not had to bear the full cost of employing the apprentices until they are making a positive contribution to their business. The first intake was in September 2015 and the scheme is still going strong today.

James Selka, CEO of the Manufacturing Technologies Association, said: “It is fantastic to see that engineering firms are leading the way in terms of recruiting the next generation of engineers. At the MTA we are committed to helping our members take on fresh talent by offering training grants and loans to help ease the financial burden of taking on new members of the team.”

He added: “The work we have done alongside Close Brothers Asset Finance and the University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre has so far given 60 apprentices the best possible start to their careers. We will continue to champion our sector and the opportunities it provides.”




The department has published new figures today (27 Jun) showing that the proportion of 16-18 year olds in education and apprenticeships has increased to 81.3% – the highest since records began 25 years ago.

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton said:

“I’m pleased that the proportion of 16-18 year olds in education and apprenticeships has increased to 81.3% – the highest since records began 25 years ago.

“We want more young people to have the opportunity to learn new skills, get the jobs they want and build successful careers. Our new T Levels will offer young people high-quality technical courses on a par with the best in the world. Our changes to apprenticeships mean they are now longer, higher-quality and with more off-the-job training”. 

Updates to national participation figures for the end of 2017, released in June 2018, and provisional estimates for the end of 2018.


Trailblazing the new food and drink Apprenticeship Standards

Posted by:Julie Harris, Posted on:27 June 2019 – Categories:ApprenticesEmployers

Julie Harris, Apprenticeship and Graduate Manager for Premier Foods, oversees the Level 2 Food Operator and Level 3 Advanced Food Operator Apprenticeship Standards.

Establishing a clear career path for new entrants

Throughout our industry, it was widely recognised that there was a lack of formal training for food and drink operators in the sector. There was a real need to have a development programme in place to support the training of new entrants into technical roles to secure talent for the future.

With that in mind, we wanted to establish a clear career path for new entrants into the industry. We wanted to ensure that people would view working in a food factory as a career choice, rather than the last option. To achieve this, we trialled the first Level 3 Advanced Food Operator programme in the country, even before the introduction of the Levy. When we started the programme we only had a cohort of five, all of whom had passed their assessments, we now have two further cohorts in place making this an annual programme.

With the Advanced Food Operator programme, our aim has been to drive recruitment for technical operators, as we have an ageing workforce and are in danger of losing valuable skills in the coming years.

What apprentices will learn

Apprenticeship standards are fantastic for our industry, as they provide a pathway and structured development programme into the sector.

All of the skills our apprentices learn are transferable for other roles such as Team Leader, Continuous Improvement Specialist and many more. It is so important that our apprentices are learning transferrable skills in order to ensure they have all the skills to succeed in roles throughout our industry past their apprenticeship.

Apprentices supervise work on food and drink production lines to ensure products are safe for consumers. Premier Food apprentices will begin their day by completing critical control point checks to make sure production is ready to start. Throughout the day apprentices carry out quality checks, help run the production lines, and ensure products are safe for customers.

On completion of their apprenticeships, many go on to fill full-time, permanent Technical Operator roles. As we haven’t been running the programme that long it is too early to predict whether they will go on to positions such as Team Leader, but with this training, they will have an excellent grounding to do so.

The success of the first cohort has ensured that the programme has become a normal part of the workforce planning process. Finally, I think it is fantastic to see future talent grow, as we build on the apprentices’ skills and knowledge. Their enthusiasm and passion for learning is infectious!

An exciting place to work and a genuine career choice

Our industry is an exciting place to work due to its fast-moving nature, diversity and relevance to everyone – we all love food! The new standards help to illustrate this, as well as outlining what is involved in each of the jobs covered by them and covering what is expected of a “good” Technical Operator. The Standards we have created help to promote roles in the food and drink industry as a genuine career choice.

The Trailblazer group, the group of employers designing the standard, has helped to bring food and drink companies together through developing these apprenticeships. This is where we all put our competitiveness to one side to work on a common aim for the industry, to develop training fit for our sector. I am delighted to say that I can still call on those employers today.


University of Bradford Nursing apprenticeships praised by Ofsted

An Ofsted inspection has found the nursing apprenticeships programme at the University of Bradford is making “reasonable progress” since being created in January 2018.

The University currently has 95 apprentices working towards a Level 5 apprenticeship in nursing, working with NHS trusts across Yorkshire.

In the report, Ofsted said the programme is “building on the success” of Bradford’s nursing degree course.

It said: “Senior leaders have established a clear rationale for the delivery of the apprenticeship programme.

“They have built on their successful nursing degree programme to respond to local NHS trusts’ requirements for nurse associates.

“They work well with employers to plan the curriculum, and apprentices benefit from high quality learning resources that meet professional and clinical standards.

“Teaching staff are well experienced and use their clinical and research expertise well to motivate apprentices and develop their vocational and academic skills.

“Lecturers use their extensive subject knowledge and vocational expertise well to enable apprentices to develop new skills, knowledge and behaviours that meet clinical and workplace standards.

“Most apprentices quickly develop and use their English, mathematical and digital skills in their job roles and use them confidently.

“Leaders and managers place a high priority on ensuring that apprentices are safe. Apprentices know how to report any concerns that they may have.

“Managers ensure that appropriate safeguarding policies and procedures are in place. Staff are skilled at identifying any changes in behaviour that may indicate that an apprentice is unsafe or at risk.

“Apprentices, through frequent training, have a broad understanding of how to keep themselves safe. They know how to recognise signs of abuse and radicalisation and how to remain safe when online.”

One area the University was told it needs to improve is ensuring leaders make sure the English and maths teaching apprentices receive is of sufficient quality.


Apprenticeship recruitment fair in York next month


Young people in York can find out more about and apply for a range of apprenticeships in the city at an event next month.

The apprenticeship recruitment fair will be held at City of York Council’s head offices at West Offices from 4:30 to 7.00pm on Thursday 11 July.

The aim is to give young people aged 16 to 24 and their parents or carers chance to meet recruiting employers before they leave school, college or sixth form.

Cllr Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning (including responsibility for apprenticeships), said:

“The Apprenticeship Recruitment Fair has being growing year on year, and once again showcases a wide variety of local employers and training providers who are all keen to recruit apprentices.

“I would encourage young people who are considering their options for the future to come along and speak to some of the employers and find out more about the fantastic opportunities that are available locally.”

One-to-one advice sessions will also be on offer from City of York Council’s Learning and Work Advisers.

Exhibitors include City of York Council, Hiscox, Softbox Limited, McDonald’s York, The Army and many more.

For more information, contact or 01904 555768.

Published by Minster FM News at 12:05am 19th June 2019.


We’re celebrating the exciting career opportunities on the railway as exam season comes to an end.


Are you excited about engineering, passionate about learning and want to work as part of a team to transform Britain’s rail network? A career at Network Rail could be for you!

Find out all about our apprenticeships scheme

Interested in our graduate scheme? Click here

As an apprentice at Network Rail, you’ll get more than just an education – our apprentices receive expert training, earn while they learn and develop skills for life. What’s more, you’ll have the opportunity to build a career at one of Britain’s biggest employers.

You’ll have three amazing years on our apprenticeship scheme. You’ll spend your first 21 weeks living and learning at Westwood, our training centre in the Midlands. For the rest of the scheme you’ll work from a depot close to home.

It’s just the beginning of an exciting career journey that can lead to varied career options. You’ll have the chance to study for further qualifications and gain chartered membership of a professional engineering institute.


Elinor Harris, 32 from Gorleston in Norfolk, is almost at the end of her three-year apprenticeship. She’s currently working at the Norwich depot.

She joined Network Rail with an interest in engineering but no knowledge of how the railway worked. Three years on, she’s learned about switches and crossings, trackside maintenance and signals, and has also had the chance to analyse data that helps with the day-to-day running of the railway.

Elinor would like to continue to work within the track discipline as a technical officer or technician and continue to broaden her knowledge and experience.


At Network Rail, you get so many opportunities to develop, and the chance to study for qualifications. It gives you a great head start to further your career.

Network Rail is a really great company to work for, and they look after their staff. You get to work with some great people, and get to work in places you would usually not get the chance to.

The experience so far been really rewarding and I have learnt so much. I am almost coming to an end of my apprenticeship and it has been an incredible experience and I have no regrets. I would certainly recommend the apprenticeship scheme to anyone.

From apprentice to senior engineer

Owen Flanders, 31 from Eye in Suffolk, started his career as a signal apprentice in 2007. He worked his way up to his current role as a senior renewals and enhancements engineer at the Stratford office. He’s responsible for looking after the signals and control systems at Liverpool Street and across the route.

He works on one of the most heavily-used freight paths in Britain, covering the mainline from London Liverpool Street to Norwich, which also enables about 32 million passenger journeys a year.


Owen Flanders

Owen has also continued his education while climbing the career ladder. Network Rail recently funded his master’s degree in engineering from the University of Birmingham.

I get to really make a difference to people’s journeys and to be part of the team responsible for making sure the signalling systems are working so passengers can get to where they need to be.

I’d encourage anyone who is leaving school or wants to change their career to think about an apprenticeship. It has given me a good knowledge of the job and has really helped me to get where I am now.



Our graduates scheme

Network Rail graduates step into history


Skilled People from .GOV.UK

Skilled people – our commitment to building a broader set of skills in the Civil Service, to make us more effective and offer more varied careers that will help us retain and attract the best talent.

Published 17 June 2019


Operational Delivery Profession

Skilled people develop themselves

Operational Delivery Profession (ODP) offers a wide range of qualifications and numerous other learning and development opportunities that can help to develop you and your skills.

Whether you’re looking to move across the Civil Service, aim for promotion, set yourself a new challenge or gain new skills, there’s a multitude of options in ODP:

Take a look at our Qualifications page for a range of internationally recognised qualifications from Level 2 to 7.

Check out Your Learning Map and navigate your way through learning and development opportunities based on grade and skills family.

Find recommended learning and development based on subject matter that best of all is absolutely free in our Free Resource e-Library.

Skilled people and apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are a brilliant chance to increase your skills and get a real job whilst continuing with your education (up to degree level).

You can earn a salary while all your training is paid for, get hands-on experience and learn skills that employers want, helping to shape your future career, and not least, become part of the largest profession in government by joining the Operational Delivery Profession!

Read more about our Operational Delivery Apprenticeship Scheme (ODAS).

Are you a Grade 7 or Grade 6 working in ODP? Find out more about Talent Management.

Skilled People get involved

Keep up to date on our social media channels.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.


University of Lincoln welcomes 100th management degree apprentice

It comes less than two years after the apprenticeships were set up

The University of Lincoln’s business school has welcomed its 100th apprentice to its management degree apprenticeships.

It comes less than two years after the apprenticeships were launched to help employers grow their own leadership talent.

The Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA) and Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship (SLMDA) at Lincoln International Business School are enabling employers to develop their in-house management teams using the Apprenticeship Levy.

These work-based learning programmes are designed to be flexible and accessible for professionals to combine part-time study with their careers.

On successful completion, apprentices can graduate with a degree level qualification, including the prestigious Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in Leadership.


Sarah Chester-Buckley became the 100th apprentice at the Lincoln International Business School when she joined the latest group of managers on the SLMDA in May.

Sarah, who has never previously studied at university, said: “I can’t believe how amazing the university experience has been already.

“When I was at school we only had one BBC computer – when I walked into the state of the art library on campus I was just amazed.

“The technology on offer for our learning journey is just fantastic, and the building is stunning. There is a real vibe around campus – it just makes you want to learn!

“My line manager has previously studied the MBA and is hugely supportive of me – I’m really excited about leading projects at work with my newly acquired academic theory behind me.

“I know this will be a challenge, but with the support of my new class-mates I know I’ll get there.

“I already feel that I’m part of a strong team with the others and I can’t wait to get started on the course.”

Both the CMDA and SLMDA are ‘trailblazer’ apprenticeships created by the Chartered Management Institute, the Chartered Association of Business Schools and higher education providers. 

Lincoln’s CMDA (Level 6) is underpinned by the BA (Hons) Professional Practice in Leadership and Management degree; while the Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship (Level 7) is based on Lincoln’s part-time MBA Leadership.

Claire Flavell, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust Talent Academy strategic lead, said:   “We’re delighted that the Talent Academy has been able to support Sarah with her career progression within the Trust.

“As a member of our first cohort on the Senior Leaders Master’s Degree Apprenticeship delivered by the University of Lincoln, it provides confirmation of how far our staff can develop.

“For so many of our staff, the thought of stepping back into a learning environment after a long time out of the classroom can be a daunting prospect.

“The use of apprenticeships within our career pathways provides staff with the opportunity to apply in practice the theoretical knowledge gained in the classroom. 

“This approach allows both the Trust and its apprentices to see the ongoing benefit of newly acquired skills being incorporated into their day-to-day roles within the organisation.”

Dr Craig Marsh, pro vice chancellor and head of Lincoln International Business School at the University of Lincoln, said: “Effective leadership and management is critical to the success of any organisation and those employers who invest in their in-house talent tend to reap the benefits later.

“This is one of the many reasons I am delighted that we have reached this milestone of our 100th management degree apprentice at Lincoln International Business School.

“This creates a true proof point of how employers across many industry sectors in Lincolnshire are embracing the opportunity to invest in the future of their workforce.

“A cornerstone of our degree apprenticeship programmes is that they have been co-created with employers.

“Their success so far is down not just to the quality of the programme design but also the way in which industry and individuals have seized the opportunity in responding to the new offering.”

For more details on course content and eligibility, visit:


Popular apprentice programme is now open for applications

The annual recruitment for the Knowsley Apprentice programme is now open.

Knowsley residents, aged between 16 to 24 years old, are eligible to apply for an apprentice role as part of the successful scheme.

This year’s programme has more than 70 apprentice roles in organisations across Knowsley, ranging from construction, engineering to administration and hospitality.

Knowsley Apprentice was launched in 2008 and has helped 1,245 young people into apprenticeships during that time, including Bethany Edge from First Ark.

Bethany had applied to university when a family friend recommended the Knowsley Apprentice programme as an alternative. She applied for the Business Services Apprenticeship at First Ark and was successful.

Bethany said: “My apprenticeship has allowed me to gain valuable transferrable skills and has really helped me to progress.

“I now have experience of working in a business environment and my confidence has blossomed. I recently spoke at an event were senior figures attended and I received really positive feedback from this.”

Bethany has now secured a permanent position with First Ark as an Independent Living Advisor.

She added: “I knew I wanted to stay within the company and when the job became available I was immediately interested as I knew it was a role that would help and support people.”

Erin Ambrose, Learning and Development Business Partner at First Ark said: “We work closely with the Knowsley Works Employment Team to recruit our apprentices. The support we receive from the Employment team is brilliant, they support us with the whole recruitment of our apprentices from posting vacancies on their website to assessment days, arranging interviews and supporting the apprentices into their roles.

“Once we have recruited our apprentices, the Employment team continue to support by having regular meetings with them to ensure both the job role and qualification is proceeding well.

“The Employment Team provide a great service and are always a pleasure to work with.”

Coun Tony Brennan, Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development said: “The council has been running the Knowsley Apprentice programme for 11 years now and I think this is a testament to how successful the programme is.


“We’ve helped 1,245 young people from across Knowsley into apprentice roles where they have been in full time employment, earning a good wage and working towards a recognised qualification.

“Apprenticeships can also bring many benefits to businesses, they’re a great way to grow talent and develop a skilled workforce. Many apprentices stay on in the organisation once they have completed their apprenticeship.”

“Apprenticeships provide young people with a really important opportunity to get into work and I would encourage anyone who is interested to find out more and apply.”

Machmade Ltd is a plumbing, heating and drainage company based on Knowsley Business Park and has recruited 10 apprentices through the Knowsley Apprentice programme.

Phil Allan, General Manager at Machmade, commented: “Since working with the Knowsley Apprentice team our apprenticeship program has gone from strength to strength. The support we have received for recruitment, college placements and quarterly reviews has been outstanding. This has not only helped us achieve our future recruitment goals but has also been instrumental in the recognition we have received on both a local and national level.”

Machmade Ltd. was named a winner at the regional final of the 2017 National Apprenticeships Awards and a Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer.

Applications must be submitted by midnight on Thursda,y July 11. All vacancies and details of how to apply are listed on the council’s website


The Institute for Apprenticeships has called for the assistance of the government’s exams and HE watchdogs in devising an “optimised” external quality assurance system for

Sir Gerry Berragan, the institute’s chief executive, wrote letters in April to the chief regulator at Ofqual, Sally Collier, and the chief executive of the Office for Students, Nicola Dandridge.

Berragan explained that since January of this year, the IfA has been delivering a “programme of work that will improve the delivery of EQA”, which includes a “strengthened operational framework and a digital service, both of which will allow us to better exercise our statutory duty and bring greater consistency”.

The letters, obtained by FE Week, reveal that the IfA has been asked to provide the Department for Education with an “appraisal of the best method of delivering EQA through a simpler system”.

“One important part of this is retaining the role of professional bodies (employer groups and professional entities) in the system,” Berragan said, adding that he would “value” the
views of Collier and Dandridge on how their organisations “might work with professional bodies – either directly or indirectly – under an optimised system”.

Despite the institute previously pledging to become more transparent, a sizeable portion of Berragan’s letters to Collier and Dandridge were redacted.

Currently, there are 18 EQA bodies which monitor the end-point assessment organisations (EPAOs) that run examinations for apprentices.

The job is done by a mix of professional bodies, employers and quangos such as the IfA and Ofqual – which between them run EQA for over 200 standards.

Ofqual is the second biggest provider in this space, but the OfS isn’t on the EQA register, which raises questions as to why Berragan asked the higher education regulator for its views.

The OfS was approached for comment but did not respond at the time of going to press.

Many in the FE sector have been critical of the current EQA system, complaining that it is too complex.

The IfA’s letters hint that Ofqual will, in future, be the lead body for it, something that would be welcomed by the chief executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers Mark Dawe, who said: “Finally, common sense is biting. The sooner this process of transfer is complete, the better.

“It is great to have professional bodies involved across all sectors, but Ofqual should have overarching responsibility.”

Collier told the House of Commons education select committee in Marchthat her organisation would like to expand its role in monitoring apprenticeship EPAOs.


She argued her organisation has done a “good job in proving that, as the regulator, we can do this job and can do it well” and they are “ready to take on a larger role”, following an October 2018 report by the committee on apprenticeships, which recommended Ofqual should be given total responsibility for EQA.

Collier agreed with committee chair Robert Halfon that it is “unnecessary” to have so many different bodies doing apprenticeship regulation.

The lack of a single EQA body for apprenticeships has contributed to a “ridiculous variability” in the amount that is charged EQA, according to Tom Bewick, the chief executive of the Federation of Awarding Bodies, which represents EPAOs.

FE Week revealed in February that EPAOs can be charged between nothing and £179 per apprentice for EQA.

When shown this analysis, Graham Hasting-Evans, group managing director of NOCN, an EPAO, told FE Week he was “very concerned” about the high level of EQA charges, which are “up to 10 per cent of the EPA cost in some cases”.

The IfA’s new EQA framework is due to go live from July 1.


Challenge recruits over 117 new apprentices to NHS services in Lincolnshire in 100 days

Over 100 apprentices have been recruited in 100 days by NHS trusts in Lincolnshire.

An innovative challenge to employ 100 new apprentices in 100 days into the local NHS system has proved a runaway success – with a total of 117 new recruits signing up to the three NHS Trusts in Lincolnshire.

The ambitious #NHS100Challenge campaign was launched back in March by the Lincolnshire Talent Academy during National Apprenticeship Week, in a bid to boost the number of apprenticeships being taken up across the county’s healthcare community.

The 100 day campaign has involved a mixture of social media promotion, roadshows, departmental visits and publications to engage and inform prospective and existing staff about the apprenticeship opportunities across the three NHS trusts – United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT), Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT) and Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS).

Claire Flavell, Strategic Lead for the NHS Lincolnshire Talent Academy said: “The campaign has helped to highlight the variety of clinical and non-clinical apprenticeships available to staff across the health and care system.”

 “We’ve been successful in attracting staff of all ages from a diverse range of occupations, highlighting the opportunities that are available for them to work, train and develop within the county.”

Brittany Hodgson, Support Manager at ULHT, is one of the new apprentices who has recently started her Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship as a result of the challenge.

“I was encouraged to start an apprenticeship by my manager, who suggested it would aid my career progression,” said Brittany.

“As I am currently a support manager, it will enable me to progress up the managerial ladder.”

To find out more about the various career paths available to explore across the NHS, visit the Talent Academy website – or


Scores of apprenticeship roles to go on show at BCoT fair

BCoT's Apprenticeship Recruitment Fair in March 2019

BCoT’s Apprenticeship Recruitment Fair in March 2019


A HOST of apprenticeship roles are set to be displayed at a college event.

More than 35 different employers with apprenticeship vacancies are set to exhibit at Basingstoke College of Technology’s (BCoT) Apprenticeship Recruitment Fair on Monday 17th June 2019from 4.30pm to 7pm.

Middlesex Aerospace, DCSL software, Red Mist Leisure and Exertis are some of the employers set to be present at the event.

It is the college’s second Apprenticeship Recruitment Fair this year and follows a successful event in March which attracted more than 300 visitors.

“If you’re interested in starting an apprenticeship in September but are yet to find an employer this is a perfect opportunity to see a wide range of employers with vacancies all in one place.

“There are lots of different apprenticeships on offer both locally and nationally with the employers attending the event offering everything from engineering and computing to automotive and construction apprenticeships”.

To find out more about apprenticeships, the latest vacancies or to pre-register for the event, go to or call 01256 306237.


Eight top UK consulting firms for graduates & apprentices

 12 June 2019

Analysis of top reviews left by graduates and apprentices on a jobs review site reveals a list of the top workplaces for juniors looking to get their foot in the door of the consulting industry.

The Job Crowd is a site similar to that of Glassdoor – graduates and young professionals can leave (anonymous) reviews on their employer on the platform, rating work-life balance, salary, quality of graduate programmes, leadership, how challenging the work environment is, and much more. Analysis by of Job Crowd scores reveals a list of consulting firms that stand out from the crowd.

Teneo Consulting

Formerly known as Credo, Teneo Consulting provides a combination of services in strategy, communications advisory, risk advisory, capital advisory and management consulting, focussed on meeting the needs of CEOs and executive teams. The consultancy is praised by employees for a “welcoming working environment” and “good development” potential, with one Associate Consultant noting, “if you are proactive you can get a lot out of the company.”


Acquired by CRA International in 2009, Marakon partners with CEOs, their executive teams and business leaders to drive value transformation. An Associate Principal evaluating the firm praised its great colleagues, high exposure and the capacity for the firm to be a “great learning platform” for those looking to start out in consulting.


Having bought the Croner Group in 2016, Peninsula offers a range of services as an human resources, employment law and health & safety consulting firm. The firm was lauded for offering career progression and industry leading training and support. A number of contributors also mentioned the friendly work environment and a great work-life balance. 

Willis Towers Watson

Willis Towers Watson is an Irish-domiciled global multinational risk management, insurance brokerage and advisory company. According to one Analyst reviewing the firm, the level of responsibility offered to graduates is very high, with a very diverse range of work. At the same time, “the CFA / Actuarial study packages are very competitive.”


French multinational Capgemini provides consulting, technology, professional, and outsourcing services. Capgemini’s UK clients range from McDonald’s to BAE Systems Maritime-Submarines. Its UK employees most highly value the colleagues, environmental awareness and company culture of the firm.

Newton Europe

With its UK base in Oxfordshire, Newton is an implementation-focused consultancy, which works to better equip and motivate clients to solve future transformation challenges. The firm’s employees again place most value with their colleagues, while also highly rating the company’s willingness to give newcomers responsibilities.

Smith & Williamson

Smith & Williamson is a UK-based financial and professional services firm. With £20.1 billion in funds under management, the firm is also one of the larger independently owned investment managers in the industry. Reviewing the company, one Tax Trainee stated that new staff “can learn a lot on the job and have support from other team members,” while a Trainee Chartered Accountant celebrated the “challenging / interesting work” on offer.

Grant Thornton

Grant Thornton is the sixth-largest professional services firm in the UK, providing advisory and auditing services to clients across the industrial spectrum. According to one Associate, opportunities at the firm for new talent come fast, citing their own “opportunity to work directly with Partners,” while another Associate stated there is “Lots of variation and opportunities to work on lots of clients… from very big household names to tiny start-ups.”


First ever degree apprenticeship launches in transport planning

by Technical Apprenticeship Consortium


Sir Gerry Berragan, Chief Executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education

Today (11th June 2019) the first ever degree apprenticeship for Transport Planners in England has been approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.

Designed by employers, the Level 6 Transport Planner degree apprenticeship opens up a new route into the profession that combines academic education with practical experience.

Currently, the vast majority of transport planners enter the profession after graduating from university in a wide range of subjects. This apprenticeship will train those in the transport planning profession with the same academic credibility while also delivering the highly technical and professional skills and behaviours needed by transport planners.

There has been strong interest for the scheme and a wide range of employers and universities have been engaged through the development of the apprenticeship. Employers in England are able to recruit candidates immediately with the programme anticipated to start in September 2019 at Aston University.  

It is also an ideal route for those on the three-year level-three transport planning technician apprenticeship after they have successfully completed their end point assessment with the CIHT.

Christine Crossley, Chair, Transport Planning Trailblazer group and Peter Brett Associates, now part of Stantec said,

“Through the apprenticeship, transport planners will acquire the technical knowledge, skills and behaviours to enable them to develop sustainable solutions to the complex transport challenges in our society. It provides a clear path for those entering the profession and for those looking to progress from a technician qualification or practical background.  Linking closely with the Transport Planning Society’s Professional Development Scheme, it provides a step towards the Transport Planning Professional qualification.”


Sir Gerry Berragan, Chief Executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education said,

“Modern apprenticeships open up a range of highly-skilled jobs to a more diverse range of candidates, giving apprentices the opportunity to earn while they learn. I am delighted that our transport planning sector will benefit from this high-quality apprenticeship while another route into an exciting career is opened to our learners.”

During the development of this apprenticeship, the trailblazer group worked with several universities to develop bespoke degrees which include the assessment of the apprenticeship, with the first of these set to launch in September 2019 at Aston University.

Lucy Rackliff, Senior Lecturer in Transport and Logistics, Aston University said,

“Transport challenges are not going away; with work on HS2 underway, environmental impacts of transport, and the complex mobility needs of an ageing population to be addressed, skilled professionals will be more in demand than ever.  Aston has a long history of excellence in undergraduate transport education.  We are hugely excited to continue this tradition by being the first institution to offer a Degree Apprenticeship in Transport Planning.”

The time needed to complete the apprenticeship can vary, but it is typically completed within four to five years. Levy-paying employers in England can use the levy to fund this apprenticeship, up the maximum funding rate of £23,000.

About the Technical Apprenticeship Consortium (TAC): A network of 15 employers from the engineering consultancy sector, pushing forward the apprenticeship agenda. TAC facilitates the development of Apprenticeship Standards that have been prioritised by the employer members, and support in the development of qualifications, supports employers to identify and ensure ongoing high quality and responsive apprenticeship training provision, and promotes the links from apprenticeships to professional registration across engineering, transport and the environment. 


Santander announces new partnership with Nottingham Trent University for Degree level and MBA apprenticeships


by Santander Universities

Santander has today (10 Jun) announced a new partnership with Nottingham Trent University (NTU) as the bank’s primary apprenticeship partner for Degree level programmes.

NTU will deliver Santander’s Digital and Technology Solutions Degree programme from October 2019. The programme offers 20 candidates the opportunity to complete a four year apprenticeship resulting in a Degree in Digital and Technology Solutions. NTU will also work with Santander in creating the bank’s first MBA apprenticeship programme.

The new agreement builds on a relationship which NTU has had with Santander Universities since 2012.  This division of the bank focuses on Santander’s commitment to higher education through partnerships with over 1,200 universities around the world and has provided NTU with support which has so far benefitted over 1,000 students from the university in in a variety of areas including accessibility to education, employability and entrepreneurship.

Vicky Wallis, Chief HR Officer of Santander said:

“At Santander, we recognise that apprenticeships offer people an alternative route into a banking career other that the traditional graduate path. This helps attract talent from all walks of life and ensures the financial services sector as a whole better reflect the communities we serve. We are delighted to be broadening our partnership with Nottingham Trent University to offer inspiring learning whilst developing critical digital skills across the bank.”  

Professor Edward Peck, Vice-Chancellor of Nottingham Trent University said:

“Our apprenticeship offer at NTU is going from strength to strength and we have more than 500 apprentices with us currently. We are delighted to be able to build on this and become the official apprenticeships partner of Santander. We greatly value our existing relationship with Santander Universities which has benefited students and graduates and now look forward to welcoming their apprentices to our campuses.”


Ladder apprenticeship campaign passes another key landmark


A campaign aiming to create 1,000 new apprenticeships in Birmingham and Solihull has surpassed another key landmark.

The Ladder for Greater Birmingham initiative has welcome its 250th apprentice at IT company OGL.


The Worcestershire-based firm provides business software, IT solutions and cyber security and is where 21-year-old Larry Phillips is working as an infrastructure technician, recruited through the Ladder campaign.

OGL said it valued home-grown talent and found that apprenticeships provided a great way for it to harness fresh ideas and bring people on board who wanted to learn about the company from the ground up.

The group actively supports individuals who want to develop and progress their careers within OGL, meaning apprenticeships provide it with a pipeline of new people coming through the ranks.

OGL works with Worcester-based training provider The Development Manager.

Larry said: “I have really enjoyed my time doing this apprenticeship since I started and have learnt a lot about technical support and hope to continue improving and developing new skills in the future and apply them to my work and learning on my apprenticeship.”

Ladder for Greater Birmingham was launched last summer with the aim of creating 1,00 new apprentices across Birmingham and Solihull.

The initiative is run by community development group The Vine Trust and training provider Performance Through People with funding from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP and Birmingham and Solihull Training Provider Network, with BirminghamLive as media partner.

Next month, the inaugural Ladder for Birmingham Apprenticeship Awards will be held at Edgbaston Stadium and will celebrate the stars of tomorrow and the organisations helping them succeed.

Neil Morris, commercial director at OGL said a quarter of the company’s staff had been with them for at least a decade, with many starting in junior roles before progressing through the business.

“Apprenticeships provide us with a great way to complement that vast experience with fresh new ideas and a different perspective and we have found that this home-grown talent enables us to shape our business in the way we want to meet the needs of our customers,” he added.

“Our apprentices also then benefit from working alongside more experienced staff to enhance their on-the-job learning. 

“It’s a great formula as we actively encourage internal progression, so apprenticeships are an ideal way for us to continually bring in the next generation of employees.”

Support team manager Rachel Seagrove added: “Larry plays a big part in the success of the support team.

“His role is key in providing technical support and advice to customers. He is a great team player, helping out his customers and colleagues wherever he can.

“Larry is always keen to learn new technologies and spends a great deal of his own time studying to further his knowledge.

“He is a real asset and a prime example of how valuable apprentices are to our business.”

To learn more about the Ladder for Greater Birmingham campaign visit 


Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service launches recruitment drive for apprentice firefighters

Cumbria County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) is recruiting four firefighter apprentices to be based countywide.

CFRS is seeking people who want to work within their community to improve safety awareness, help protect the public and promote fire safety.

Applications open on Monday 10 June and will close on Sunday 7 July. You can find out more and apply online at

Applicants must be aged 18 or over and will undergo a rigorous selection process, including physical fitness tests. Successful candidates then undertake an intensive 14-week training programme starting in January 2020.

CFRS has a strong track record of success for our firefighter apprenticeship programme in recent years, with an overwhelming majority of our apprentices going on to careers as full-time firefighters.

Our apprentices receive full training in the role of a professional firefighter and after successfully completing this training they then work alongside firefighter crews throughout the county.

You can find out more about the job role and fitness requirements at one of our presentation and practice evenings:

Monday 24 June, 6pm-8pm – Kendal Fire Station

Wednesday 26 June, 6pm-8pm – Barrow Fire Station

Monday 1 July, 6.30pm-8.30pm – Carlisle East Community Fire Station

Wednesday 3 July, 6pm-8pm – Workington Fire Station

CFRS Station Manager Roger Exley said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to join Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service as an apprentice and receive full training and support to become a professional firefighter. We are fully committed to our apprenticeship programme and offer a career path that can often lead to a permanent full-time firefighter role. I would encourage anyone interested to come along to one of our taster events at fire stations throughout the county.”

Applications must be made via the county council’s website at Applications for operational firefighter apprenticeships close on Sunday 7 July.

If you have any questions or you would like an informal discussion about the apprenticeship opportunities, please contact: Roger Exley, Station Manager, tel: 07917 305763 or email


Apprenticeships: A high-quality route to skilled employment

June 7, 2019

© Worldskills UK

The Rt Hon Anne Milton MP, Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills at the Department for Education details why apprenticeships are a high-quality route to skilled employment

It never ceases to amaze me just how much energy and enthusiasm there is for apprenticeships – from employers, training providers and, most importantly, from the apprentices themselves.

Apprenticeships offer people of all ages and backgrounds a high-quality route to skilled employment with the option to train at every level in a range of exciting professions like aerospace engineering, cyber security, teaching, law, nursing and fashion.

We overhauled the apprenticeships system two years ago and we have made some great progress. Apprenticeships are now longer, higher-quality and with more off-the-job training. Apprenticeships also provide a proper assessment at the end, with the Levy giving employers more control to invest in the people and skills they need for the future.

We worked with employers to design the new system because it is employers and not government who are best placed to decide what skills apprentices need for their businesses. More and more businesses and employers, for example, Channel 4, Royal Mail, North West Ambulance Trust and Pizza Express are providing people with the opportunity to learn new skills and get great jobs.

It is good news that the number of people starting on their apprenticeship has increased by 10% compared to the same point last year and that over 4 million people have started an apprenticeship since May 2010. But outdated attitudes are still putting some people off apprenticeships which means they’re missing out on opportunities to get good jobs and higher salaries. We all – government, employers, careers advisors, teachers and parents – have a role to play to make sure people are aware that an apprenticeship can be a life-changing opportunity.

Our new apprenticeships campaign ‘Fire it Up’ is helping to challenge these outdated perceptions and raise awareness of the huge variety of options available for people across the country. Our real live apprentice stars are of all ages and backgrounds, from employers including the Royal Opera House, Transport for London and the NHS.

We had a record-breaking National Apprenticeships Week this year, with over 1000 events taking place across the country. We are also developing a new leader board of top apprenticeship employers– the new rankings will be independently judged and published annually and will rate the Top 100 large apprentice employers as well as the top 50 SMEs.

I am extremely proud of the progress we have made, but there is still more to do. We want to continue to refine the system so employers and apprentices can make the most of the apprentices out there. Visit our new website; it provides lots of helpful advice and you can find out about all the great apprenticeship opportunities available across the country.


The Rt Hon Anne Milton MP

Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills

Department for Education
Tel: +44 (0)370 000 2288


300 Police Officers to be Recruited by West Yorkshire Police – Register Your Interest Now

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Three hundred new police officers are being recruited by West Yorkshire Police, and for the first time officers will study for a degree as part of their training.


The new training pathway is being launched to equip student officers with the skills needed to tackle increasingly sophisticated crime, and is in line with the national aim to make policing a recognised professional career.

The trainees will be trained and mentored by experienced police officers at West Yorkshire Police’s Learning and Development Centre at Carr Gate, Wakefield and by academics at Leeds Trinity University.

They will complete a three-year Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship and will be a paid police officer from day one, with all university fees being met by the Force.

The Force is reaching out to all sections of the community and is really keen to better represent the communities we serve.

Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams said:

“It is a really exciting time to join the Force, and our new recruitment pathway will give budding Police Officers the chance to ‘earn while they learn’.

“This is a great opportunity for anyone who has ever considered becoming a police officer to join us and see what an exciting and rewarding role it is.

“I have been a police officer here in West Yorkshire for 28 years and I can honestly say I’ve loved every moment. Every shift is different and challenging, but also rewarding.  

“We want everyone living in West Yorkshire to feel their Force represents them. Whilst we have seen some great results to reflect our communities with regards to such areas as gender, LGBT and those with disabilities, this has not been the case with regards to our BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) community. With this in mind, we are particularly interested to engage with any potential new recruits from our BAME communities. 

“That being said, the job will always go to the right candidate and will be based on merit. If you have the skills and experience required, then I would urge you to consider applying to join West Yorkshire Police.

“Being a police officer really is a job like no other and our Police Constable Degree Apprenticeships will prepare and train officers to deal with evolving serious and complex crime.


“As it’s a three-year Apprenticeship, it allows our new officers to specialise as they move through the degree and they can look towards being a Detective, a Roads Policing Officer or a specialist working in our Neighbourhood teams.”

The recruitment window will open in July and you can now register your interest online to be notified when recruitment opens.

The first trainee officers will be appointed to the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship programme in April 2020.

The starting salary for officers on the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship is from £18,000, with incremental annual increases leading to a salary of £24,654 on successful completion of the programme and confirmation in role.

A new Degree Holder Entry Programme will also open later this year to allow those who already hold a non-policing degree to complete a two-year learning programme to become a qualified police officer.

To become a police officer, you need to be 18 (at the time of application), have a level 3 qualification or equivalent or have experience as a PCSO or Special Constable, have no criminal convictions (minor offences will be considered on a case-by-case basis), meet our attendance record and be able to pass a job-related fitness test.

West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Mark Burns-Williamson, said: “Policing is such a rewarding career and this is a really great opportunity for individuals to pursue a varied role while being trained and supported to gain a qualification at the same time.

“This is an opportunity to make a real difference in your community and I would encourage interested parties to visit West Yorkshire Police’s website for more details.

“Continuing recruitment into the police service is crucial and you can play your part in helping make our communities feel supported and safe.”

Professor Margaret A House OBE, Vice-Chancellor at Leeds Trinity University, said: “Leeds Trinity has always been committed to transforming lives and benefitting our local community, so we are very proud to work with West Yorkshire Police on training the next cohort of police constables.

“We have developed a programme of policing that is relevant, inspiring and impactful, and we’re looking forward to welcoming the first cohort of police apprentices next year.”

You can find out more and register your interest in applying now at:


Former Blue Peter presenter to host Ladder for Birmingham Apprenticeship Awards

Konnie Huq will join hundreds of other guests at Edgbaston stadium in July to celebrate the region’s top apprentices and the organisations helping them succeed

A TV broadcaster with one of the most varied CVs in the country will host our inaugural apprenticeship awards later this year.

Konnie Huq spent ten years as a host of stalwart BBC children’s magazine show Blue Peter but can count a string of other assignments on her portfolio of work.

Ms Huq will join hundreds of other guests from the local business community at the first ever Ladder for Birmingham Apprenticeship Awards on July 4.

They will recognise apprentices, their employers and educational institutions across 12 different categories, including crowning our overall Apprentice of the Year.

Ms Huq started her decade-long tenure on Blue Peter in 1997, becoming the iconic show’s 26th presenter, but her TV career started much earlier than that when she appeared on Newsround to interview Neil Kinnock ahead of the 1992 General Election.

She began appearing in front of the cameras regularly when, at 17, she fronted a number of programmes on CBBC and GMTV and also during her economics studies at the University of Cambridge.

Ms Huq went on to present shows such as Top of the Pops, topical debate show London Talking, LK Today and The Xtra Factor among many others and also penned an episode of Black Mirror, created by her husband Charlie Brooker.

She is currently an ambassador for The Prince’s Trust and British Asian Trust and has also written her own children’s books whose character Cookie is inspired by Konnie’s own London Bangladeshi background and her love of science.

The new awards are part of the wider Ladder for Greater Birmingham campaign launched last year to create 1,000 new apprenticeships across Birmingham and Solihull.


Tidal apprenticeships on the menu for Climavore project

31 May 2019

Eating out: The ATLAS oyster table in Portree in 2017.

Skye-based Atlas Arts is working in partnership with local school pupils and restaurants across the island on a project that promotes environmental regeneration.

Working in association with London-based artists Cooking Sections – Daniel Fernández Pascual and Alon Schwabe – Atlas will launch the Climavore apprentice programme with a series of events on Saturday 1st June and Sunday 2nd.

The overarching project, ‘Climavore: On Tidal Zones’ seeks to transform our diets with ingredients that contribute to cleaning Skye’s waters through their natural growth while educating the next generation of cooks who can embrace these changes.

Evolving from the installation of an oyster table on the foreshore at Bayfield, Portree, in 2017, the latest iteration is designed to enhance and expand the connection to the environment through an educational programme in partnership with Portree High School.

Since November 2018 over 20 students have participated in Climavore cookery workshops, including oyster shucking and seaweed bread-baking classes led by local chefs, scallop divers and Cooking Sections. Students have learnt about the aquacultures along the tidal zones of Skye and food practices that can support them.

During the summer, three graduates of the course have been awarded a Climavore apprenticeship in restaurants across Skye and Raasay – Edinbane Lodge, Raasay House, and Scorrybreac Restaurant. Working in close collaboration with the chefs and kitchen teams, the apprentices will develop, prepare and serve Climavore dishes to support and develop alternative aquacultures that promote cleaner usage of the tidal zone.

The programme will be launched with a celebratory meal on Saturday 1st June at the oyster table in Portree. Prepared in partnership with the pupils, diners will be treated to a lunch of scallop ceviche, oysters, seaweed soup and carrageen panna cotta, washed down with a Harris Gin and sea buckthorn cocktail.

Events on Sunday 2nd June will include a walk to a rare native Skye oyster habitat, which will be followed by a screening of the recently-released film ‘Artifishal’ at the Aros Centre in Portree. Produced by Patagonia, ‘Artifishal’ is a film about people, rivers, and the fight for the future of wild fish and the environment that supports them. The film screening will be followed by a discussion led by environmentalist Corin Smith.

Daniel Fernández Pascual and Alon Schwabe tuck in to some kelp lasagne.

Alon Schwabe of Cooking Sections explained why he believed this project was so vital. He said: “All across the Scottish isles, the United Kingdom and across the planet we are witnessing a tremendous loss of biodiversity and extensive pollution of our air, land, and waterways. In the UK and all around the world, the environments we leave to future generations are in a fragile state.

“Climavore questions how we eat as humans changes climate and develops programmes to provide tools to young residents of Skye to transform food practices, ecologies and environments to become better places for humans, plants and animals living along the tidal zone.”

Atlas Arts producer Shona Cameron added: “Working with the students and teachers at Portree High School over the last year has been an exciting development for this project. The students have shown real enthusiasm to learn about the local ingredients and engage in conversations that question sustainability.

“It has been brilliant to see restaurants across the islands continue to show enthusiasm towards the aims of Climavore and demonstrate a willingness to take on apprentices, working with them to bring Climavore dishes to their menus. It is our vision to expand the apprenticeships to more students and restaurants across the whole academic year, starting in September 2019.”

If you would like to attend these events or wish further information, you can visit, email or phone 01478 611143.

For more on these events, you can also listen to Atlas Arts producer Shona Cameron’s interview with Cuillin FM’s Catriona Maclean here.



University halts social work master’s programme to focus on new degree apprenticeships

University of Warwick cites ‘changing landscape of social work’ for decision, which raises doubts over future research

Warwick University’s Westwood campus where its social work programmes are based (image: Rwendland/Wikimedia Commons)

A popular social work master’s programme has ceased recruiting, with no new students to join this autumn.

The University of Warwick put its decision, which will see its master’s course begin winding down from the end of the current academic year, down to “changes in the landscape of social work”.

It is not the first institution to mull such a decision. In 2017 Durham university proposed scrapping its master’s social work courses before later rowing back on the plans.

A spokesperson for Warwick university appeared to leave the door open for a future U-turn, describing it as a “pause” and subject to future review based on “wider changes in social work and in the [higher education] sector”.

The spokesperson said there were no staffing implications and that the institution would be focusing solely on its recently launched social work degree apprenticeship.

The university did not provide further detail on what other factors had influenced its move and whether the growing market-share of fast-track training providers revealed by Skills for Care statistics had played a part. Those figures also showed traditional postgraduate courses seeing their highest level of enrolment in five years, with undergraduate numbers declining.

New route

Social work degree apprenticeships, which are funded by a levy placed on employers, were approved last autumn after months of delays.

At the time Norfolk council’s HR learning and development manager Jane Hanrahan, who has helped develop the scheme, described the apprenticeships as “a brilliant opportunity for people working in social work support roles to earn a living while qualifying”.

Warwick university’s spokesperson said its course, which launched earlier this year, would provide a new route into the profession for experienced care staff, and “contribute towards the university’s mission to help local and regional employers tackle their skills gaps”.

‘It has played on people’s minds’

A first-year master’s student at Warwick university, who asked not to be named, told Community Care that whispers about their course’s potential closure began circulating before Christmas.

“It was the rumour mill, then I think they realised the rumours were going round and said it was quite possibly getting cancelled, then told us yes it has been,” the student said. The student added that the university’s subsequent messaging about the course merely being put on hold had done little to convince them that it was likely to return.

“It’s a real shame, because it’s a good course,” the student added, pointing to its strong generalised content that enables practitioners to pursue different avenues. “People are crying out for social workers, social workers themselves are moaning about being overrun [with work] and you have a prestigious university like Warwick turning their back on [the master’s].”

The student said upcoming exams were the main source of anxiety for their coursemates, but added that the winding-down of the course “has played on people’s minds”.

“They’ve got only the one year left now. We don’t know what staff we will have, what lectures, who will still be there – it will affect our learning,” the student said.

‘Unbelievably bad news’

Social workers on Twitter reacted with disappointment this week to Warwick’s move, with Beverly Barnett-Jones, who was awarded an MBE a year ago for services to the sector, describing it as “unbelievably bad news”.

June Thoburn, emeritus professor at the University of East Anglia, was among those to express sorrow that a well-regarded programme was ending, with knock-on effects for future research.

“How sad – Warwick has a distinguished record for excellence in education and training of MA social work linked to high quality research and theory development,” Thoburn said.

Mary Baginsky, a senior research fellow at Kings College London, said she was concerned other courses may follow.

“We may not know what we have lost for some time and then we shall need to reinvent,” she said.



Apprenticeships open day event at Bradford College

SCHOOL leavers looking to start an apprenticeship in September are being urged to visit Bradford College’s open day in four weeks time.

Whether it be a specialist trade, sports, uniformed public service or construction, students can learn more at the event on Wednesday, June 26.

Taking place at the Trinity Green campus in Easby Road, visitors can meet tutors and current students to learn more about the courses, and have a tour of the campus.

Courses include brickwork, carpentry, plastering, plumbing, engineering, public services and more.

Qualifications range from entry level right through to degree level, and tutors will be on hand to advise prospective students on the best courses for them.


Vision West Nottinghamshire College to support employers and apprentices with new workshops

Business owners and potential apprentices are set to be supported by the area’s leading college under a new scheme which promotes apprenticeship programmes.

Vision West Nottinghamshire College is set to pilot its new scheme which aims to educate businesses and apprentices on the benefits apprenticeships can bring – and encourage more people to take part in them.

It comes courtesy of a series of employer events being staged by West Nottinghamshire College as it seeks to “re-connect” with the local business community and kick-start a discussion about how the two can work together more closely.

It will host a series of educational events over the coming months, with themes such as ‘how to access the college’s apprenticeships’, ‘making sure young people are work-ready’, and ‘realising the benefits of creating new employment opportunities and upskilling your workforce’.

Louise Knott, vice-principal for communications, engagement and student experience, said: “These events will help shape our current thinking, not just on apprenticeships but also our curriculum for full-time students.

“It’s a chance to learn about new developments within the apprenticeships arena and how these could benefit their business while sharing with them new and emerging aspects of our provision.

“We’ll unveil a framework we’ve developed to ensure students are prepared for the world of work and possess the skills and attributes that meet their expectations.

“So there are lots of exciting developments to update people on, as well as kick-start a meaningful discussion.”

Ms Knott insisted the college was keen to play an even greater role in the area’s regeneration and economic prosperity, and forge partnerships with businesses of all sizes.

She added: “We see this as an opportunity to re-connect with local employers and give them a voice in the college’s strategy moving forward.

“Mansfield and Ashfield have huge potential in terms of regeneration and economic prosperity.

“This is about the college saying ‘we want to be part of this community’s future’ and work in partnership with employers to achieve that.”

The first event will take place on Thursday, June 13, at 8am in the college’s Derby Road campus.


Each will run for one hour, and are free to event. For more information, visit or call 01623 627191 ext. 8019.

They will be held on the following dates and times:

Thursday June 13, 8am: ‘Apprenticeships for Small and Medium-Sized Employers’ – accessing the college’s apprenticeship service, funding, and ensuring its provision meets employers’ needs;

Wednesday June 26, 8am: ‘Apprenticeships for Small and Medium-Sized Employers’ – same as above;

Thursday July 4, 8am: ‘Employability Framework’ – Making sure young people are work-ready and promoting work placements as a stepping stone to apprenticeships;

Wednesday July 10, 5pm: ‘Apprenticeships for Levy-Payers’ – Maximising the apprenticeship levy, and realising the benefits of creating new employment opportunities and upskilling your workforce;

Tuesday July 16, 5pm: ‘The College in its Community’ – New principal and chief executive Andrew Cropley will outline and discuss the college’s vision and strategic aims.



Bentley Motors has been recognised as the number one automotive employer for school leavers in the UK for the second year running.

The awards – presented by careers guidance company AllAboutSchoolLeavers and voted for solely by Apprentices – highlighted Bentley’s focus on future talent, learning and development and its innovative approach to Apprenticeship programmes, balancing theoretical learning with practical working.

Dr. Astrid Fontaine, Member of the Board for People, Digitalisation & IT, said: “To once again be named the Top Automotive Employer for School Leavers in the UK is an achievement we are very proud of and underlines our continued commitment to future talent. This commitment spans decades with programmes running for more than 40 years each offering a solid foundation for people to build the relevant skills and knowledge that will enable them to grow through their careers.”

Bentley’s apprenticeship programme offers an invaluable way of gaining recognised qualifications while undertaking key training at Bentley, for three or four years, dependent on which area the Apprentice is working in.

A new cohort of 49 Apprentices will start in the autumn of 2019 joining the 200 people already on trainee programmes at Bentley Motors.

Jamie Brown, a fourth-year Engineering Advanced Apprentice at Bentley Motors, said: “The Bentley apprenticeship program has been a great opportunity for me as I have been able to pursue my academic studies, improve on my practical skills provided by experienced colleagues while earning a salary. Having access to the program resources has motivated me to pursue further training which has been a very rewarding journey. I have built good working relationships from placements and friends from team building exercises along the way.”

Bentley recently received further national recognition for its future talent and skills development programmes after being named as a Top Employer for the eighth consecutive year by the Top Employers Institute.

Bentley is also playing a pivotal role in the University Technical College in Crewe. Focused on Engineering and Design, the school offers an inspiring education for 14-19 year olds seeking a pathway to future employment.



A Weston super Mare-based training provider is set to expand with the company planning to take on 20 new staff by the end of next month.

AAA Training, which is based in Weston-super-Mare, provides training and apprenticeships in the hospitality, leisure, health and social care sectors across the UK.

The company specialises in apprenticeship management and assisting businesses who are subject to the apprenticeship levy.

Chief executive, David Grant said: “We’ve more than ten years’ experience as a commercial training business for the health and social care sector, delivering short and accredited courses, and have been focused on building a national footprint within these two sectors.

“During the past 12 months, our workforce has grown from five to 40 staff and we’re now looking to grow again, expanding our national network of industry-trained, experienced and highly qualified trainer-assessors, who support apprentices to achieve nationally recognised standards in the workplace.

“We are currently in the process of launching two new national programmes working with a second national healthcare provider to deliver Level 2 and 3 apprenticeships and with a further healthcare provider to offer an innovative customer service Level 3 programme for co-ordinators and branch managers to fill an identified skills gap.

“These contracts will increase the number of apprentices we support from 500 to 1,500 in the next 12 months. As a result, we’re building up our team to meet this demand and are looking to appoint six new assessors to cover our work in the North East and London, three customer service trainers, a curriculum specialist – functional skills and a commercial manager to grow our portfolio of short courses and take these to market.

“We’re also working towards becoming a multi-sector training provider, partnering with local employers to develop a new Apprenticeship programme in construction, hospitality or leisure with a cohort of 250 learners.”


36 exciting apprenticeship courses on offer at Bath College

Deciding what to do with your life can be difficult.

Even if you have a clear picture about where you would like to go, you might not know how to get there.

University is one avenue, but the classroom environment is not for everyone and cost can be a factor.

Heading straight into work is another, but it can be difficult to find the right job without relevant qualifications.

Luckily, there is a third option.

Apprenticeships offer a great mix of training, pay and a clear route into employment.

The apprenticeship vacancies currently available at Bath College

Level 3 Building Services Engineering Tech & Project Management – Bristol

Level 3 Accountancy – Paul Clark Accountants Limited, Bath

Level 3 Events Assistant, Bath & North East Somerset Council, Bath

Level 3 Business Administration, Bath Building Society, Bath

Level 2 Customer Service, Soltech IT Ltd, Bristol

Level 2 Customer Service, Precision Profiles, Warmley

Level 2 Refrigeration, Catalent Pharma Solutions, Swindon

Level 2 Business Administration, Precision Profiles, Warmley

Level 3 Electrotechnology, The Facilities People, Bath

Level 3 Engineering Technician, Bath

Level 4 IT, Dyson Technology Limited, Malmesbury


There are currently 36 courses offered in total across Bath College’s two campuses, ranging from beauty to bricklaying.

One campus is located in the city centre; the other in Radstock.

Applications are open to anyone aged over 16.

The courses take between one and four years, depending on the level.

Apprentices should be contracted to work 30 hours per week and a maximum of 40 hours per week (for under 18s).

Full list of apprenticeship courses offered at Bath College

Barbering Intermediate

Bricklaying Advanced

Bricklaying Intermediate

Business Administration Level 2 Intermediate

Business Administration Level 3 Advanced

Business Administration Level 4 Higher

Site Carpentry and Bench Joinery Level 3 Advanced

Site Carpentry and Bench Joinery Level 2 Intermediate

Childcare Level 3 Advanced

Childcare Level 2 Intermediate

Customer Service Level 3 Advanced

Customer Service Level 2 Intermediate

Electrical Installation Level 3 Advanced

Engineering (Technical) Level 3 Advanced

Engineering (Manufacturing) Level 2 Intermediate

Food and Beverage Level 2 Intermediate

Food Production and Cooking Level 2 Intermediate

Hairdressing Level 2 Intermediate

Hairdressing Level 3 Advanced

Horticulture Level 2 Intermediate

IT Application Specialist Advanced

IT Level 2 Intermediate

IT Level 3 Advanced

IT Level 4 Higher

Motor Vehicle Apprenticeship Standard: Service and Maintenance Technician (Light Vehicle)

Painting and Decorating Level 3 Advanced

Painting and Decorating Level 2 Intermediate

Professional Cookery Level 3 Advanced

Professional Cookery Level 2 Intermediate

Refrigeration Level 2 Intermediate

Refrigeration Level 3 Advanced

Retail Level 2 Intermediate

Stonemasonry Level 2 Intermediate

Stonemasonry Level 3 Advanced

Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools Level 2 Intermediate

Veterinary Nursing Level 3 Advanced


For intermediate and advanced apprenticeships you will typically spend four days in the workplace and one day in college.

This may vary for higher apprenticeships depending on the job type and employer.

The minimum wage for an apprentice is £3.50 an hour plus travel expenses, although many employers pay much more than that – the national average is £170 a week.


The national average wage for apprentices is £170 a week (Image: Artur Lesniak/Reach Plc)

You may also get additional money for essential books, clothing or equipment, or to help you with a disability.

You will gain a nationally recognised qualification, such as a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ), and forge great links with employers.

Bath College has a longstanding history of running apprenticeships to a high standard.

It is currently above the national average for achievement rates and has good relationships with many employers in the South West.

To find out more, click here.


Barrier Ex recruits apprentices through Newcastle College partnership

The college’s Energy Academy is working with firms to deliver ‘work-ready’ students for engineering and manufacturing industries

An industrial specialist has teamed up with Newcastle College as part of moves to train up students for the engineering and manufacturing industries.

Hazardous area specialist Barrier Ex Ltd – winner of the newcomer of the year award at the Northumberland and Tyneside Awards – has announced a partnership with the college in a bid to deliver work-ready students into sectors with emerging skills gaps.

The Wallsend firm has grown to become a leading player in the industry for commercial and industrial LED lighting, trackside electrical engineering solutions and hazardous area products, working with the likes of SSE, BAE, Network Rail and Npower.


Now the firm has become the first Silver Employee Partner of the college’s Energy Academy, also based in Wallsend, and it will also recruit three apprentices, making appointments from the student pool following an interview process.

As part of the partnership, Barrier Ex Ltd will also collaborate with the academy to help create a more vocational approach to training for the sector.

The Energy Academy is focussed on creating an employer-led approach to delivering higher education and skills training in North Tyneside, which also involves identifying and responding to areas of skill shortages.

As part of partnership Barrier Ex staff will regularly visit the academy to speak to students and pass on their skills and knowledge.


The Energy Academy lies at the heart of the region’s subsea industry, and is a centre of innovation, training and a provider of further and higher education for the region’s energy sector.

It is positioning itself to play a major role in the offshore wind sector, following the recent Government wind energy sector deal announcement.

Offshore wind is expected to provide a third of the UK’s electricity needs by 2030, presenting major opportunities for the region’s sector-leading supply chain.

Steven Lee, managing director of Barrier Ex Ltd, said: “As a local company, we are keen to give something back to the area. By working closely with the Energy Academy, together we can uncover those talented engineers of the future who will play a pivotal role in this region’s future prosperity.”


Alan Goundry, Head of the Energy Academy, said: “We want to collaborate with industry to tailor higher education and training to meet its changing needs and emerging skills gaps.

“The apprenticeships on offer through our partnership with Barrier Ex are a fantastic example of how we can do this – by developing bespoke models of training to meet specific needs of industry.

“Our Employer Partnership initiative will allow us to further develop this inclusive approach and we are delighted that Barrier Ex is the first official Silver Employer Partner.

“Its support reflects our commitment to engaging with local employers to increase the quality and effectiveness of training we offer, which will ensure students and apprentices receive a quality vocational experience while businesses receive people with the right work-ready qualifications tailored to their needs.”



PhD-level apprenticeships are a ‘perfect fit’ for today’s jobs market, says UVAC director

A university membership organisation has criticised those opposing PhDlevel apprenticeships, saying such resistance shows a “bewildering lack of understanding of higher education provision and contemporary skills programmes”.

Writing for FE Week, Mandy Crawford-Lee, director of policy and operations at the University Vocational Awards Council, argues that “the whole concept” of knowledge, skills and behaviours or professional values “fits perfectly” with level 8 occupations, such as surgeons or dentists.

She was hitting back at criticism from some in the FE sector, including the Institute of Apprenticeships, which last month said these proposed apprenticeships were not in the “spirit” of the programme.

“Let’s knock on the head the idea of the appropriateness of apprenticeships at this level and the notion that level 8 can’t be about skills; a failure to do so is a failure to recognise the diversity and complexity of employment today,” Crawford-Lee argues.

She said she suspected part of the problem was that “many people are wedded to the idea that apprenticeships must remain a social inclusion route simply for the young or the disadvantaged and associate skills training”, particularly for those at levels 2 and 3, and as something delivered exclusively by colleges and independent training providers.

Instead, she believes an “objective glance” at the skills needs of the UK economy would confirm the need for level 8 apprenticeships, and “any employer engaged in their development should be congratulated”.

Crawford-Lee added it was “disappointing” that the existence and use of professional doctorates doesn’t seem to be understood by some in the skills sector, “given that there is a substantial track record of developing occupational competence at level 8”.

FE Week revealed last month that plans for PhD-level apprenticeships had been thrown into doubt after the IfA’s approval funding committee deferred approving the first PhD-level apprenticeship.

This was “in order to seek further guidance from the board and the Department for Education on whether level 8 apprenticeships were compatible with the aims of the apprenticeship reform programme”.

The committee was concerned at “whether it [the level 8 clinical academic professional standard] could be approved under current rules and whether it was in the spirit of apprenticeship policy”.

Minutes from an IfA board meeting in January showed a discussion concluding with an action for “the DfE to explore PhD-level apprenticeships are a ‘perfect fit’ for today’s jobs market, says UVAC director the concept of level 8 apprenticeships further and agree a policy position”.

The DfE told FE Week last month that “discussions are ongoing regarding these new proposals” and “we are looking carefully at what the priorities of the programme should be from 2020 onwards”.

Asked if there was any update this week, the IfA said there was not.

In her opinion piece, CrawfordLee urges the DfE and IfA to “stick to the concept of apprenticeship as an employer-led and productivityfocused skills programme”, avoiding giving providers the idea that the importance and value of higher-level apprenticeships are “not adequately supported by government policy and messages”.

The debate around whether the public should fund PhD-level apprenticeships comes as many sector leaders, including the IfA, have warned of an imminent apprenticeship budget overspend.

The latest to add their voice to the concern is the Public Accounts Committee, which published a damning report into the progress of the apprenticeships programme this week.



Stephen Metcalfe  MP welcomed apprentices to the House of Commons to celebrate the 12,000 apprenticeships provided by aerospace, defence, security and space (ADS) industries.

100 apprentices from some of Britain’s leading ADS group companies attended the ADS Parliamentary reception, and were welcomed by MP Stephen Metcalfe.

Mr Metcalfe said: “I was delighted to welcome apprentices from across south Essex.

“The reception was an excellent opportunity to celebrate the talent working in these world-leading sectors and meet young people, like Callum Rogers from Leonardo, who’s working towards a skilled career.

“These apprentices are great ambassadors for our area and advanced manufacturing industries.”


Apprenticeships – a great way into the Farming  Industry

By Dr Liz Barron-Majerik Lantra Scotland director

Whilst spring is the time of new beginnings, for school pupils and students ‘tis the season of exams.

Although some see these as an opportunity to demonstrate all they have learned, for others it is a traumatic and stressful time. Parents obviously want their children to enjoy school, but also to leave with ‘options’.

So what alternatives are out there?

Well, in agriculture at least, there are an increasing range of alternatives, not least a wide range of apprenticeships. But with so many options – where to start?

Lantra Scotland’s recently refreshed careers pages contain a wide range of information about job profiles and careers in land-based industries. You can search by qualification, training programme and by industry to find the job that’s right for you, which makes it a great resource for school leavers, people changing career, or career advisers.

As modern apprenticeships learn on the job, they benefit from working on real projects with experienced colleagues. They can reflect on their work and develop their skills through experience.

So, individuals get the confidence and qualifications they need to succeed. And businesses build the talent, productivity and motivation they need to grow. With no exams!

There are already more than 37,000 young people working, learning and earning as Modern Apprentices. And it’s a real success story – 91% of apprentices still in employment six months after completing their Modern Apprenticeship; and 96% of employers say former apprentices are better equipped to do their job.

A new dairy apprenticeship has been created in Dumfries and Galloway helping to address the need for new employees within the industry. The dairy apprenticeship is an agricultural MA with specialist attention focused on the dairy sector.

The first 10 apprentices have now been taken on in Dumfries and Galloway and discussions are taking place with regards to adapting this model for the beef and sheep industry.

There are a number of case studies, profiling those that have taken the modern apprenticeship route.

Matthew Douglas, former Modern Apprentice:

“The training I have received has brought me on a lot at work and helped me understand the wider range of knowledge needed to be a good farm worker.

“When I started I couldn’t do much more than just sit in the tractor and roll a field, but now have a skillset that I would never have thought possible.”

Sam Parsons, estate manager:

“The Modern Apprenticeship is an effective way to introduce new people into the industry, and then it’s up to the employer to ensure they get the training and mentorship they need to continually improve and develop.”

Sion Williams, farm manager: “It is our job to give young people the opportunity to gain hands-on experience, and inspire them to look for lasting careers in the rural sector. If those of us who are already working in the industry don’t take this responsibility seriously, then no one will.”

Erica Taylor Modern Apprentice:

“As well as picking up technical skills from working on the farm, being part of a team of more experienced people has been good for me. The biggest thing has been how my confidence has grown and developed since starting my apprenticeship.

“I definitely see myself working in the sector my entire career so I’m excited about the future!”

Jakob Eunson, former Modern Apprentice:

“The Modern Apprenticeship has been hugely helpful to me as it’s opened my eyes to new ways of doing things. This industry has become much more technology-driven and there are new techniques being introduced all the time.”

If the young person isn’t quite sure whether they are ready to commence a modern apprenticeship, there is also the Pre-Apprenticeship programme, which was introduced by Ringlink Scotland in June, 2013. Since securing funding from the Scottish Government in 2018, the programme has now been rolled out nationally.

The programme acts as a stepping stone for a young person to get into the industry of their choice, with a three-week residential induction in SRUC or Border’s College followed by a six-month paid work placement. The pre-apprentice is employed by the local agricultural machinery ring and works within one of the ring’s member businesses.

By following this pathway, the Pre-Apprentice gains a land-based pre-apprenticeship award (SCQF Level 4) which gives the candidates scope for moving into Modern Apprenticeships or full-time employment.

There is a higher-level apprenticeship on the horizon, to be launched by UHI in the autumn.

This apprenticeship offers individuals the opportunity to progress to management level through work-based learning, rather than by completing a full time course at college or university.

Areas available include agriculture, game management, fisheries, forestry and land management.

For more info:


Apprentices pay visit to Parliament to recognise county success

APPRENTICES from across Worcestershire were joined by Worcester MP Robin Walker in the House of Commons to celebrate the 12,000 apprenticeships provided by the UK’s Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space industries.

There were 100 apprentices from some of Britain’s leading aerospace, defence, security and space companies who attended the ADS Parliamentary Reception.

Organised by the trade organisation ADS, and sponsored by Collins Aerospace, the event recognised the contribution apprentices make tothe economy, as well as the technologies that many of the apprentices are working to develop.

Three Worcestershire apprenticeship employers: Aeromet, Borwell and Qinetiqwere able to attend the ADS Parliamentary Reception.

Speaking for parliament, Mr Walker said: “I was delighted to welcome apprentices from Worcestershire and the UK to the House of Commons.

“The reception was an excellent opportunity to meet young people working towards highly-skilled and rewarding careers and to celebrate the huge talent working in these world-leading sectors.

“I welcome all of the hard work these organisations put into training a new generation of highly skilled workers in Worcester.

“These apprentices are great ambassadors for our community and the UK’s advanced manufacturing industries.

“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.”

ADS chief executive Paul Everitt said: “The UK’s aerospace, defence, security and space industries contribute £30 billion in value added to our economy and apprentices play a key role in businesses, large and small.

“Today’s Parliamentary reception is a great opportunity to celebrate their contribution and allow MPs to hear directly about the exciting career opportunities that exist across our industries.

“A modern apprenticeship is the route to a high value and long-term career.”



FUCHS extends apprenticeship programme


One of the UK’s leading lubricant manufacturers has demonstrated its commitment to developing the next generation of talent by extending its apprenticeship programme.

FUCHS Lubricants currently has 13 apprentices operating from its UK headquarters in Stoke-on-Trent, and the search is on for more youngsters to join the growing team.

Apprentices were first employed by FUCHS in 2014 and have filled roles within a host of departments including Quality Control, Product Management, Research and Development, IT and HR.

A further 10 apprentices are now being sought, with purchasing and customer services amongst the departments which will benefit from the latest influx of young talent.

Susanne McClurg, HR executive at FUCHS Lubricants, said: “We are very proud of the people who have already passed – and those currently working towards – their apprenticeships.

“These are fantastic career opportunities for young people who are getting the chance to progress their training.

“The great thing about our apprenticeships is, once the young people have completed them, the training and education continues. We are committed to continuing to develop the individuals and the results are there for all to see.

“It’s a win-win situation. For FUCHS, it’s part of our succession planning, creating the next generation of specialists and allowing them to tap into the knowledge of our existing workforce.

“For the apprentices themselves, it’s a fantastic career opportunity. When you walk around their working environments, you see young people assuming responsibility with the ambition and the drive to progress.

“We give them a platform to work from but they are the right people to take it forward.”

FUCHS offers apprenticeships ranging from level two to level five in numerous areas of the company.

Tilly Wood has just completed her Level Three Business Administration apprenticeship with FUCHS and is now employed as a Product Management Assistant in the automotive division.

The 20-year-old, who has been in her role for 18 months said: “If you are thinking of doing an apprenticeship at FUCHS, I would say definitely go for it.

“It gives you a chance to develop in a working environment and put into practice what you are learning in your job role.

“I’m a big fan of apprenticeships and think they can make a real difference to a young person.”

In addition to the apprenticeship programme, FUCHS is providing engineers and motor mechanics of the future a valuable insight into the lubrication industry by sending its technical experts to visit a host of universities, colleges and training providers.

Amongst the educational centres to benefit from FUCHS’ expertise on the basic principles of lubrication over the last 12 months are Derby, Oxford Brookes and Brunel Universities along with Bridgwater, Myerscough and Hugh Baird Colleges in Somerset, Lancashire and Liverpool respectively.

source Global Mining Review, Friday, 17 May 2019 10:05


Swiss Time Services selected to deliver watchmaking apprenticeship training

Swiss Time Services, one of the UK’s largest independent servicing and repairs watch companies, has stepped up to deliver training for up to 15 people a year undertaking the new two-year Watchmaker Apprenticeship.

The government’s Education and Skills Funding Agency approved an increase in funding for the two year apprenticeship from £9000 to £27,000 in February last year, but the Industry Group struggled to find a commercial training provider that could deliver the course for what is likely to be up to 15 people per year until Uxbridge College agreed. They will manage the administration and ensure quality throughout the programme for Ofsted.

Creation of the Watchmaker Apprenticeship has been driven by an industry group headed by Matt Bowling, co-founder of Watchfinder, and David Poole, former chief examiner at the British Horological Institute and chairman of the George Daniels Educational Trust Advisory Committee. They have been working for three years to develop the right structured training programmes and persuade the government to support it.

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They say that the agreement with Swiss Time Services is a crucial step towards launching the first apprenticeships later this year.

“A training provider on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers is essential to draw government funding but training providers are commercial enterprises and seek apprenticeships with large numbers,” a briefing from Mr Bowling and Mr Poole says. “The anticipated fifteen apprentices each year for watchmaking is not an attractive proposition.”

Swiss Time Services (STS) converted an areas of its workshop into a professionally equipped training room earlier this year, which will be overseen by Nick Towndrow, commercial director, and Tony Coe, the firm’s managing director. Both have been active members of the industry group consulting on apprenticeships from the outset.

STS will also take apprentices into other areas of the business where, for example, they can get experience with advanced cleaning and polishing machinery.

Apprentices will spend two years working with their employers, which might be service centres for major watch brands, with block release breaks for training at STS. Swiss movement-maker ETA is providing parts for the scheme.

For further information, please contact Matt BowlingDavid Poole or Nick Towndrow.


Five principles that should underpin quality assessment


Sir Gerry Berragan

Chief executive, Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education


Sat 11th May 2019, 6.00

“Independent EPA is fundamental to the success of apprenticeship reform”

It has never been more crucial that we ensure that we have the best regime possible to assess quality, says Sir Gerry Berragan, chief executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education

Our mission at the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education is to develop high-quality apprenticeships and technical qualifications in order to transform the skills landscape.

Quality is rightly at the heart of this. If employers and apprentices do not believe that apprenticeships are a highquality product which provide the skills that are needed across the economy, then the ongoing reform work of recent years will have been in vain.

As part of my role as chief executive at the institute, I chair the Quality Alliance, which brings together the government organisations responsible for different aspects of apprenticeship quality, as well as the key representative bodies for training providers and end-point assessment (EPA) organisations.

Earlier this year the Quality Alliance published the Quality Strategy,which sets out 14 statements of best practice across all facets of apprenticeship delivery. Our next step will be to develop an action plan to sit below this strategy, which will set out what actions each alliance member is taking to support the strategy.

I was delighted that Anne Milton, skills minister, was able to attend our most recent meeting and discussed with members the next steps on embedding quality across all levels of apprenticeship provision.

One focus for the institute is the external quality assurance (EQA) arrangements for end-point assessment. The institute has a statutory responsibility to ensure that EQA is delivered, as well as providing EQA ourselves (through our delivery partner, Open Awards) where we are selected by the trailblazer.

Independent EPA is fundamental to the success of the apprenticeship reform programme and as volumes increase it is right that we step back and assure ourselves that we have the optimal regime in place to qualityassure this assessment.

Independent EPA is fundamental to the success of apprenticeship reform

Over the course of the spring the institute has been undertaking a programme of work to put in place a strengthened operational framework for EQA, including a digital service to manage the interface between the institute and EQA providers. Both of these will allow us to better exercise our statutory duty and bring greater consistency. This is still in draft form and is currently being shared with EQA providers and end-point assessment organisations before it is due to be finalised and made public.

We have built the framework around five principles. We want EQA to be: relevant; reliable; efficient; positive; and learning. At the core of this sits the concept of occupational competence. EQA must give us assurance that EPA is not just a well-administered test, but a relevant, reliable assessment of the knowledge, skills and behaviours that apprentices need in order to perform in their chosen occupation – from commis chef to actuary to plasterer.

To do all of these things, EQA must be timely and proactive, not retrospective and reactive. It must involve people with expert knowledge of the areas being assessed witnessing assessment taking place, and it must involve some reach back to employers and apprentices after completion, to externally validate their training and assessment – to confirm their satisfaction with the level of occupational competence achieved.

But if the principle of relevance is important, so too is efficiency. We need a system that doesn’t impose undue burden on EPA organisations and is easy for all parties to understand and engage with.

So I have also written to the chief executives of Ofqual and the Office for Students to ask them to bring forward proposals for how their organisations can work with employer groups and professional bodies to provide an optimised EQA process.

A strengthened EQA system will give employers confidence that EPA is a relevant and reliable assessment of occupational competence. That is an important function and one that the institute will continue to work with other regulatory bodies in government, and professional bodies, to deliver.

source FE News 


UCL Apprenticeship Scheme

Our apprenticeship scheme offers work-based learning and development opportunities which are designed around the needs of the university and the scheme is available to people of all ages.

Why are apprenticeships important to us at UCL?

Our vision is to attract, develop and retain talented staff and improve the diversity and performance of our workforce.

Our objectives are to:

engage and recruit new talent

develop and upskill existing staff.

The UCL Apprenticeship Programmes will help achieve this by widening our talent pool; offering a new junior level recruitment stream, supporting the professional development of our existing staff and building leadership and management capabilities in UCL.

Early-career apprenticeships

UCL’s early-career apprenticeship programme provides an invaluable opportunity to learn while you work. Our hands-on programme gives you a head start in your chosen field.

There are lots of benefits to doing an apprenticeship here at UCL. Our schemes have been designed to give you the best possible career start.

By learning both on and off the job, you will work towards a work-based qualification whilst building experience, knowledge and skills.

You will also earn while you learn and enjoy the benefits offered by the university such as 41 days annual leave (inclusive of public holidays and closure days), student union discounts and more.

UCL early-career apprenticeship programmes:


South Essex College to hold free business breakfast networking event to talk to Businesses about apprenticeships

South Essex College’s apprenticeship team is holding a series of free networking events for employers to find out more about the popular training route.

The informal breakfast events will give local employers the chance to meet the team and other employers to find out more about the many benefits hiring an apprentice can have on business.

The team will also be on hand to talk about the apprenticeship levy and provide information on how business can reclaim their levy to meet their organisation’s training needs.

The first event takes place on Friday 10 May at the College’s Basildon Luckyn Lane site, 8-10am. Others are planned for Wednesday 22 May 8-10am at the College’s Luker Road campus in Southend and Thurrock campus in Grays High Street on Friday 24 May 8-10am.

Employment Engagement Manager, Calley Page, said the informal events were the perfect opportunity for employers to get together and boost their workforce through apprenticeships.

She said: “Apprenticeships have recently undergone major reform, so there has never been a better time for learners and businesses to benefit.

“It has been proven that apprentices make a positive contribution to businesses, so why not come along to one of our events and see how your organisation can benefit.”

To find out more about the events and to book a place, visit


West Midlands Police recruiting for forensics apprenticeships –

West Midlands Police is looking to recruit four apprentices to join its Forensic Services Department.

The police force has a dedicated group of Forensic Scene Investigators (FSIs) who search and recover forensic clues from a crime scene – be it a burglary, car theft or murder – and send it back to the state-of-the-art Forensic Services Department to be tested.

Those selected as apprentices will support the team dealing with forensic evidence recovery, including all preparatory work for scientists and maintaining a quality working environment within the lab.

Unlike many police roles, this is a 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday job.

But it’s not for the faint-hearted.

“Successful candidate should expect to encounter and be prepared to tolerate potentially unpleasant situations or sights,” said a spokesman.

“The apprentice must have a real interest in science and be willing to learn new skills as well as have a professional and mature approach to work.”

The apprenticeship is likely to last for 23 months.

And the closing date for applications is May 15.

As a Forensic Apprentice, your role would include but not be limited to the following responsibilities:

To receive, record and prioritise work in order to achieve the team’s agreed performance indicators, objectives and deadlines

To operate force systems to record, update and case track all activities on submissions

To carry out sequential treatments for routine crime as defined by CAST guidelines

To help administer the Image Management System

To maintain the West Midlands Police portion of the National Fingerprint Database

To ensure the integrity and continuity of all evidence is maintained

To ensure good practice relating to Health and Safety and Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)

To support and work within a Quality Management System (ISO17025)

To maintain a clean, operational working environment

To attend and pass any appropriate training courses linked to your apprenticeship qualifications and apprenticeship role

Apprenticeship summary

Weekly wage


Working week

Monday – Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm.

Total hours per week: 37.00

Expected duration

23 months

Possible start date

01 Oct 2019

Date posted

7 days ago

Apprenticeship level

Advanced Level Apprenticeship

Reference number



4 available

Requirements and prospects

Desired skills

The apprentice will need to:

Demonstrate excellent interpersonal, communication and organisational skills

Demonstrate excellent presentation skills

Demonstrate a practical approach to problem solving and a willingness to accept responsibility

Have good team working skills, and be able to work as part of a laboratory team

Have good time management skills and be keen to deliver work in a timely and accurate manner

Personal qualities

Apprentices will need to be socially and emotionally mature enough to work in a fast paced and professional laboratory environment

They will be cooperative and flexible and be able to maintain professional relationships with colleagues and external customers

The apprentice must have a real interest in science and be willing to learn new skills as well as have a professional and mature approach to work

Desired qualifications

Minimum of 5 GCSEs, grades A-C (or predicted grades). These must include English, maths and a science subject.

Future prospects

Permanent posts may be available following successful completion of the apprenticeship.

How to apply

Find out more and apply to






Do you want to be a journalist? The Sunderland Echo  are recruiting apprentices

Take your first steps into an exciting career with JPIMedia’s journalism apprenticeship scheme.

You’ll earn while you learn, writing for our newspapers and websites across the North, including the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette, Hartlepool Mail, Northumberland Gazette – and beyond – and studying for a professional National Council for the Training of Journalists qualification.

It’s not for the faint-hearted and over the 18-month apprenticeship you will face many challenges – but the rewards, opportunities and career satisfaction are great too.

We’re looking for bright, enthusiastic, energetic, adaptable, flexible, creative and hard-working digitally-savvy 18 to 24-year-olds.

You’ll need to be a people-person who wants to tell stories that will engage our readers in print and online, but you’ll also be keen to take advantage of the opportunities that technology gives to tell those stories in new ways.

It goes without saying that you will be interested in the world around you and have a high standard of written English as well as excellent verbal communication skills.

You could be a school-leaver – a minimum of five GCSE A-Cs including English and maths and two A-levels are required – already in work and seeking a new challenge or a graduate (though without NCTJ qualifications).


Send your CV, a covering letter and 400 words on why you would be the ideal JPIMedia apprentice to

The closing date is Friday, May 24, 2019.

If successful you will be invited to an assessment day which will include an interview and aptitude tests.


Almost 100 engineering apprenticeships are up for grabs

The apprenticeships start in September and recruitment is now under way

The 2018 intake of apprentices at the AMTC (Image: Coventry Telegraph)

Top of Form

Almost 100 engineering apprenticeships are up for grabs in Coventry as part of a drive to recruit and train the engineers of the future.

The roles are at the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre, which forms part of the  Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) campus in Ansty Park.

The centre recruits apprentices every year and this year it is looking to sign-up 96 of them as part of an effort to solve the skills shortages in manufacturing.

The apprenticeships start in September and recruitment is now under way.

The AMTC is holding a special apprentice open evening next week to give potential trainees an insight into the programme and its plans to develop the next generation of engineers.

The open event will be held on Thursday, May 16 between 5pm and 7.30pm, and pupils, parents, careers advisors, teachers and college staff are all welcome.

The AMTC is a flagship facility for the advanced apprenticeship programme.


As well as basic engineering skills, the apprentices learn the latest technology in areas such as intelligent automation, metrology and advanced manufacture.

They will be able to test and develop their skills with partner employers.

Paul Rowlett, managing director of the AMTC said, “Our purpose is to seed the manufacturing sector with a pipeline of capable engineering technicians.

“Employers can maximise their levy spend with our programmes, giving a genuine return on investment and business impact while ensuring they become increasingly globally competitive.

“The open evening gives potential apprentices the chance to learn everything they need about our programmes.”


The MTC was founded by the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and TWI Ltd.

Industrial members of the MTC include some of the UK’s major manufacturers.

The MTC aims to provide a competitive environment to bridge the gap between university-based research and the development of innovative manufacturing solutions, in line with the Government’s manufacturing strategy.

It forms part the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported by Innovate UK.

Anyone interested in registering for next week’s open evening should register here.





University bids for funding for advanced manufacturing apprenticeships

Leading Welsh industry partners are being sought by Wrexham Glyndwr University as it bids for funding for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Degree Apprenticeships

During the summer of 2019, the Welsh Government will be releasing funding for the new Apprenticeships, as part of its ongoing programme to boost the key sectors it has identified for Wales’ economic growth.

Wrexham Glyndwr University – which has already secured funding for Digital Degree Apprenticeships Programmes in Software Engineering and Cyber Security –  is looking to build on that success by working with industry to develop Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing programmes.

Three qualifications for the Engineering/Advanced Manufacturing Degree Apprenticeships are being developed by the university – a BEng in Production Engineering (Advanced Manufacturing); a BEng in Industrial Engineering Design (Mechanical) and a BEng in Industrial Engineering Design (Electrical.)

Glyndwr studies help to land biodiversity career

Christina Blakey, Business Development Manager and Lead for Apprenticeships at WGU said: “This is a great opportunity for companies across North Wales to work with our university on these ground-breaking new qualifications – and to develop the qualifications and skills they want.


 “The Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Sectors have been identified as priority sectors by the Welsh Government, and their investment provides companies with the opportunity to future-proof their workforce, attract new talent – and retain and develop the existing talent within their organisations.”

Each programme will allow companies to let their employees study towards a full degree, apply the new knowledge they learn in the workplace and bring new skills to the workplace.

The academic provision for the Degree Apprenticeship is fully funded under the new programme, and available to companies based in Wales.

Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering, Martyn Jones, added: “As the only institution in North Wales to provide our own degrees in Production and Mechanical Engineering, we are uniquely placed in the region to be able to react quickly to the demands of industry.

“With industry-standard facilities, each programme comes already future-proofed, providing insight into current trends such as automation, industry 4.0 and additive manufacture.

“We are an industry-led faculty, and the majority of our staff have that crucial industry background – and these programmes are designed alongside the companies who take part.

“This means they will produce graduates who meet the real-world demands our key sectors have of their employees.

“Places on our degrees are available for all staff – from new recruits to current staff looking to boost their skills, and of course for current apprentices – particularly ones who have completed a HND or HNC or Foundation degree.

“If you are a company based in Wales which wants to develop the skills of their staff in Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing – we want to hear from you!”

Interested employers are welcome to contact Wrexham Glyndwr University to find out more or to show their interest.

 start engineering your future, contact by May 7.


Fujitsu Degree Apprenticeship Programme to develop UK #STEM skills

by Fujitsu

Fujitsu launches Degree Apprenticeship Programme to support STEM skills development in Manchester and Warrington area

Fujitsu launches a new Degree Apprenticeship Programme to develop UK Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills and to empower the workforce of the future.

The Degree Apprenticeship, which is being run as a four-year Bachelor of Science (BSc) Digital and Technology Solutions degree at Manchester Metropolitan University, will focus on areas of technology where there is clear demand for relevant skills: cyber security, digital business solutions and software developing, including a focus on technology areas such as automation and cloud.

New recruits will join Fujitsu as employees, working four days a week and attending classes at Manchester Metropolitan University one day a week, where they will study for a degree in digital and technology solutions.

“STEM skills are essential for the future, both for students looking at their careers and businesses aiming to succeed with digital transformation,” said Nick White, Head of Junior Talent at Fujitsu EMEIA.

“We are excited to see the new Degree Apprenticeship Programme help foster the next wave of digital talent at a critical stage of development for the UK. With technology increasingly becoming the backbone of every industry and organisation, digital skills will pave the way towards a thriving economy.”

To help ensure a rounded skillset is developed, the course will be complemented by a soft skills programme focusing on business impact and leadership, as well as a mentoring programme to support personal development. Fujitsu aims to recruit 30 applicants from a wide variety of backgrounds and who span multiple skillsets.

Prospects will be invited to attend one of two open days, in Warrington on 7th May or at Manchester Met on 30th May.

“The north-west is a powerful economic and tech hub in the UK, so it is vital that we foster the right talent to fuel our future,” said Elizabeth Gorb, Director of Apprenticeships at Manchester Metropolitan University.

“To ensure we have the right skills, we need more businesses to create and support apprenticeship programmes. This new programme from Fujitsu can serve as a powerful example to others.”

source FE news




Shell Energy Ltd offers unique #apprenticeship in cutting-edge technology

Coventry-based Shell Energy Retail Ltd, which serves renewable power to more than 700,000 British homes, has opened applications for a new apprenticeship in cutting-edge technology working towards a BSc (Honours) Degree in Digital and Technology solutions.

Aimed at A-level students looking to advance their education whilst  gaining real-life skills, the four-year apprenticeship is an alternative to a traditional university degree. It offers:

Part-time study where apprentices learn coding and software development within the most advanced programming languages

Part-time job at Shell Energy Retail Ltd where apprentices can develop core skills across cyber security, data analysis, software engineering and network engineering

ABSc (Honours) Degree in Digital and Technology solutions

Mentors and tutors who will guide apprentices through the degree course

A competitive salary, increasing as their skills improve through the programme

The apprenticeship has been designed by Shell Energy Retail Ltd, in partnership with the Open University, to appeal to the next generation of software engineers by giving them hands-on experience in the very latest technology in addition to a degree qualification

Anne Milton MP, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills said:

“It’s fantastic news that Shell Energy Retail has teamed up with the Open University to offer this new high- quality apprenticeship in cutting-edge technology. We’ve completely overhauled apprenticeships in this country, but this wouldn’t have been possible without employers like Shell Energy Retail who are leading the way by making these amazing opportunities available.

“Apprenticeships are a brilliant way for people of all ages and backgrounds to get the skills they need to get a good job and for employers to get the skilled workforce they need to grow. This is a brilliant opportunity for anyone looking to hone their digital skills and kick-start a successful career in technology.”

John Wrighthouse, Chief People Officer, Shell Energy Retail said:

“As a company with cutting edge technology at our core, we hope to attract the best future talent by offering them an excellent apprenticeship with hands-on experience of the latest technology in a rewarding and dynamic environment. Investing in our staff is the best way to build a culture that delivers a first class experience for our customers.”

Research suggests apprenticeships enhance prospects of future employment  

A survey by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) last year showed that half of parents would encourage their children to apply for an apprenticeship rather than seek a university place, in response to concerns over the cost of university. Furthermore, 71% felt that degree apprenticeships provide a better chance of future employment than a university degree.

Application details

A-level graduates can apply for one of five spaces on this year’s scheme via the Shell Energy Retail Ltd job site before the closing date on 7 June and successful applicants will start on 2 September.


Government Names Hartlepool College Of Further Education Top For North East Apprenticeships Once Again

Hartlepool College of Further Education has been named the number one apprenticeship provider in the North East once again.

The Government’s National Achievement Rate table placed the College in the number one spot for all General Further Education Colleges in the North East, ensuring Hartlepool kept its Top 10 status nationally for the seventh year running.

With an Ofsted ‘outstanding’ grade for apprenticeships to support the recent Department for Education results, the league placing came as no surprise to Darren Hankey, Principal and Chief Executive of Hartlepool College of Further Education.

He said: “We are extremely proud of our apprenticeship achievement rates.

“It is really pleasing to have a successful year but what is more pleasing is to see that success sustained over many years, a feat that is not achieved alone.

“We are grateful to the wonderful business partners we work with that create these fantastic apprenticeship opportunities.”

In addition to the being ranked number one college in the North East for apprenticeships, Hartlepool College of FE scored high in several other measures with Level 3 apprenticeships ranked first nationally for timely achievement.

Gary Riches, Head of Employer Services at the College, commented: “The majority of our apprenticeship provision is delivered at Level 3 and in sectors such as Engineering, Manufacturing, Construction and Business Management services.

“We are fortunate to work with such great companies that really invest in their staff, this makes a real positive impact and contributes to our continued success.” Hartlepool College of Further Education currently trains over 800 apprentices working in over 350 local, regional and national organisations.

The apprenticeship provision at the College ranges in level and duration from 12-month Level 2 qualifications to higher and degree apprenticeships.

At its most recent apprenticeship open event, the College attracted hundreds of potential apprentices to meet with over 80 business partners, ranging from small to medium enterprises to international giants such as Caterpillar, Unipres and Gestampt Tallent. Further emphasising the attraction to high quality apprenticeship opportunities.

Gary added: “We are witnessing a real growth in apprenticeship with more employers committing to develop their own skilled workforce.

“More and more people, of all ages, are attracted to the many benefits of an apprenticeship programme and we believe that with our track record of outstanding achievement rates and vast experience of apprenticeships we can really help employers and apprentices succeed.”

Hartlepool College was recently shortlisted for both the UK Apprenticeship Award and Further Education College of the Year at the Educate North Awards 2019.

If you are an employer and would like to find out more about apprenticeships with Hartlepool College, contact Gary Riches:


Raytheon Launches Cyber Apprenticeships as Part of £2m Investment in UK Technology Education

LONDON, April 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Raytheon launched a new cybersecurity apprenticeship programme in the UK in the latest stage of a £2m investment benefitting British technology education.  The new programme will provide opportunities for 70 cyber apprentices each year, with plans in place to certify around 280 over four years.

“By 2021, there will be an estimated shortage of 3 million information security workers worldwide,” said James Gray, managing director, cyber and intelligence, Raytheon UK. “Our apprenticeship programme provides training that will both attract and prepare a new generation of cybersecurity experts in the UK who can keep us ahead of emerging threats.”

The new two-year programme will offer an alternative career path to three and four-year degree courses. Apprenticeships like this develop in-house skills to face the mounting threat posed by cyberattacks. There are two specialist tracks: cyber intrusion analysts and cybersecurity technologists.

Apprentices will be paid full-time employees and will build skills by combining job experience with teaching sessions and lab time. At the end of the two-year course, successful candidates will be certified as qualified security practitioners.

Raytheon’s education investments include a Cyber Academy, which provides university students an intense three-day workshop and capstone exercise on security skills, as well as bursaries offered to support specialist cyber education, workshops and mini-camps. 

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister, Anne Milton said, “Cybersecurity skills are in increasing demand from UK businesses, so it is brilliant that Raytheon is leading the way and offering this high-quality apprenticeship programme. This is a fantastic opportunity for apprentices to gain the cutting-edge skills they need to kick-start a highly sought after and rewarding career.”

Raytheon already provides hundreds of UK apprenticeships in engineering, in partnership with commercial businesses, as well as the UK’s armed forces.

About Raytheon UK

With facilities in Broughton, Waddington, Glenrothes, Harlow, Gloucester and Manchester, Raytheon UK is invested in the British workforce and the development of UK technology. Across the country the company employs 1,700 people and supports 9,000 jobs. As a prime contractor and major supplier to the U.K. Ministry of Defence and other government departments, Raytheon continues to invest in research & development, supporting innovation and technological advances across the country.

Raytheon Professional Services is a global leader in customised training and learning solutions that transform workforce performance. Based in Milton Keynes and Doncaster, the RPS team delivers end-to-end training in over 140 countries and 30 different languages to build and deploy technology-leading training solutions that are aligned with key business objectives.

In 2018, Raytheon generated more than £554 million in sales in the UK.

About Raytheon

Raytheon Company, with 2018 sales of $27 billion and 67,000 employees, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defence, civil government and cybersecurity solutions. With a history of innovation spanning 97 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration, C5I™ products and services, sensing, effects and mission support for customers in more than 80 countries. 

Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts. Follow us on Twitter


SsangYong Motors kicks off inaugural apprenticeship programme

SsangYong Motors UK has announced its inaugural apprenticeship programme for Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Technicians.

Recognised by the IMI, the programme has been designed to maximise on-the-job training while minimising time away from the dealership.

It will be run by a fully qualified team and provide training on the latest vehicles, specialist tools, industry technologies, diagnostic equipment, IT systems and customer handling techniques.

The programme is three years long and includes eight, one-week long modules per year at the SsangYong Academy in Nottingham.

As well as containing information on training and assessment, all apprenticeship standards must contain an End-Point Assessment where an independent organisation is involved – this ensures all apprentices following the same standard are assessed consistently.

Doug Lincoln, aftersales director of SsangYong Motors UK, said: “We’re delighted to launch our very first apprenticeship programme and we are firmly committed to developing future talent at SsangYong.

“We want to attract enthusiastic individuals into the industry who can help ease the shortage of skilled staff and provide technical expertise to support our expanding dealer network.

“A total of fourteen SsangYong franchised dealers have signed up to the programme so far.”

The IMI recently welcomed news that apprenticeships are seeing growth for the first time since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy.

The Levy, which came into force in 2017, is a tax on employers used to fund apprenticeship training. Employers with an annual bill of over £3m are taxed at a rate of 0.5%.

Steve Nash, CEO of the IMI said:  “The latest figures on apprenticeship starts are welcome news, albeit the numbers are still significantly lower than those achieved before the Apprenticeship Levy was introduced.

“At the IMI we firmly believe that businesses need as much support as possible in order to understand how to they can best use the training funds to which they’re entitled. And we have been offering free expert advice to businesses in the automotive sector to help them understand how they can invest their Levy or co-investment, using this to enhance the skill set within their business.”


From Apprentice to Leader: Developing the Next Generation of Engineers

David Mills, Talent Director for SPIE UK

This year’s National Apprenticeships Week happened against a bleak backdrop for those in the engineering community.

Only in December, figures from the Department for Educationshowed that there had been a 38 percent drop in level two apprenticeships. Analysis of the data showed that engineering was one of four sectors in which this decline was most significant.

Compounding this, further analysis by the government’s Social Mobility Commission has highlighted that young people under the age of 25 are less likely to believe that apprenticeships provide opportunities to progress in their future careers.

The value of apprentices

Everyone in the engineering industry and further afield understands the value of apprentices. They are the future of our industries, the next generation of skilled employees who will transform our industries and help solve the world’s challenges.

However, clearly there is a need to do much more to demonstrate the value an apprenticeship can add to someone’s career to encourage more people towards this type of training.

Central to the SPIE apprenticeship programme is offering apprentices to work in a variety of environments that challenge people to adapt and develop their skills.

By offering people a number of different career paths from which to choose from, SPIE provides people with a wide range of options with the chance to learn and develop their skills.

Apprentices follow a work-based training programme. Not only is this important for learning from more experienced colleagues on the job, it also means that apprentices have the opportunity to learn new skills on a daily basis.

This on-the-job training is complemented by a formal industry recognised college qualification in the chosen trade of the apprentice. At the end of four years, SPIE’s apprentices qualify as a competent individual in their chosen specialism.

Clear routes for career progression and development

The strength with an apprenticeship is that whatever route an individual wants to take in the progression of their career, there are options open to them.

Whether people come to an apprenticeship straight out of school or pursue a higher education qualification and then enter an apprenticeship, there are clear routes for progression and development.

Key to encouraging more people to take up apprenticeships is ensuring that the opportunities for progression are clear. Looking at the Social Mobility Commission data, this is clearly one of the areas where there is a breakdown in awareness that causes many to believe apprenticeships are not a viable option for them.

If it isn’t clear to young people how they can further their professional lives through an apprenticeship, then they aren’t going to sign up.

Mentoring and support programmes throughout their development

In order to develop the industry’s future leaders, apprentices need to be supported throughout their development.

For example, offering the trainees a mentor who understands the apprentice programme and the opportunities it provides can help ensure that apprentices understand all of the opportunities that are available to them, both during and after the qualification.

Apprentices need to be aware that they can access a range of development programmes, both during and after their apprenticeship, that help them develop the skills they need to progress through the business.

Moreover, mentorship should come from a different area of the business to that which the apprentice works in. This ensures that they will learn from the largest range of real-world experiences possible, setting them up for a successful future.

Apprentices critical for the future of engineering

Successfully developing the next generation of engineering apprentices is critical for the future resiliency of our industry.

The average age of an engineer in the UK is reportedly 54 years old. This puts a wealth of engineering knowledge and expertise at risk of walking out of the door due to retirement in the not too distant future.

In addition, the most recent analysis by non-profit Engineering UK has pointed to an annual shortfall of 59,000 engineers, illustrating that we really are facing a cliff edge in terms of skills availability.

For engineering businesses, developing apprentices that can fill these roles isn’t simply a matter of producing some positive statistics or meeting an intangible government target, it is a business imperative.

David Mills, Talent Director for SPIE UK



Apprenticeships are “the game changer” for the UK’s skills-starved IT technology sector.

This is according to the co-founder of Rethink Group, who left the company to set up a training academy to train previously undiscovered talent.

After around 30 years working in the recruitment industry, Andy Lord left Rethink, and with his business partner David Muir set up Code Nation in September 2017. Lord is Code Nation’s CEO.

Headquartered in Manchester, Code Nation provides training in coding and in cyber skills, with many students either unemployed and in receipt of benefits, or those who have no experience working in the sector. Broadly based on the US boot camp model of short, sharp and intense courses, much of Code Nation’s income comes from the Apprenticeship Levy.  

Lord told Recruiter: “Around 80% of students in our classrooms are filled by apprentices, who are being paid an average of around £23k a year by employers.” He said his ambition is to train “thousands of people”.

Lord suggested that apprenticeships could be the answer to one of the sector’s most serious problems, a lack of staff loyalty, caused by employers having to offer higher and higher salaries to attract staff. The danger is, Lord said, while this was “financially rewarding for the employee, for the business it is very hard to create loyalty in this market”.  

In turn, he warned the resulting escalating salary levels “will force more and more projects to be offshored and more and more [businesses] to think about taking people from Europe”.

By investing in people and providing them with the training they needed “to set them up for life, you are kind of hoping you are appealing to people’s sense of values so that when they get a call from a recruiter saying ‘I can get you a better job paying you more money’, they are going to think ‘I am going to have to sit this through for a while because I owe a little debt of gratitude to the employer that invested in me’. I think that is a wonderful thing for the industry. I think that is the game changer.”  

Lord said one outcome of setting up Code Nation was that he was “inadvertently creating a new talent pool” that will, in a year or two, have the skills needed to feed into the industry that he had spent most of his career in.


The Power Of Apprenticeships Celebrated By Newcastle College

Businesses and apprentices themselves were celebrated for their commitment to the employment route at the recent Newcastle College Apprenticeship Awards. The successes of the past twelve months were reflected upon by the attendees, showing the progress in the initiative and how it’s helping to close the skills gap in the region. In the latest Newcastle College Ofsted report, the institution was commended for their focus on apprenticeships and the investments surrounding them. Together with the college, we take a look at the ceremony and its winners.

At the ceremony, Director of Business Partnerships at Newcastle College Marc McPake said “The Apprenticeship Awards are a highlight in Newcastle College’s diary and a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the hard work and success of our apprentices and our employer partners.

“Apprenticeships are vital to the future of skills and employment within the region and to supporting the North East local Enterprise Partnerships aim to create better jobs, by helping more people into skilled careers and more businesses find the right people for their workforce.

“This event really helps us to highlight just how important apprenticeships are and shine a light on the powerful differences they can make to both individuals and companies here in our region.”

The event championed the achievements of businesses who rely on apprenticeships to funnel new talent into their workforces, as well as the apprentices themselves, with a total of nine awards being presented in both categories.

A business admin apprentice, Jean Tams, was presented with the Personal Achievement accolade for her personal and professional progress. She began her apprenticeship at the age of just 16, only 18 months prior, and she has become an integral part of the team. She is employed by Forward Assist, who nominated her for the award. Her work varies within the charity, which provides help to former service men and women.

“Jean has grown massively in confidence and is now an irreplaceable member of the team’’ they stated.

After picking up her award, Jean stated “When I was told I had been shortlisted for an Apprenticeship Award, I was shocked and humbled, but also delighted! It is an honour to win a Personal Achievement Award.

“The opportunities and experience I’ve been given during my apprenticeship aren’t something you come across every day. I’ve been to the Houses of Parliament, to France to help at the charity’s annual Veterans Retreat and I’m looking forward to going to America later this year with the Women Veterans Team.

“I don’t know who is happier – me, the team at Forward Assist, or my mam who is so proud of me. I feel so privileged to be where I am today, and I wouldn’t have done it without the support of my colleagues and my skills trainer from Newcastle College.”

The sponsor of the event was Northumbrian Water, recognised for its commitment to apprenticeships at last year’s awards with the Employer of the Year title. The company’s Group HR Director Sarah Salter said “We were delighted to sponsor Newcastle College’s Apprenticeship Awards this year.

“We know first-hand how valuable apprenticeships are for our people at Northumbrian Water, developing our teams as well as our business. Apprenticeships create opportunities to learn, grow and achieve for all involved and it’s fantastic to be supporting the recognition of the achievements of all the apprentices at this event.”

Port Training Services were one of the many apprenticeship employers from the North East present, supporting the itinerary with sponsorship and judging panel members.

The awards coincided with Newcastle College’s National Apprenticeships Week celebrations, which is celebrated by colleges across the UK in a bid to encourage more students to take the apprenticeship route into employment, and for business owners to increase their own uptake of apprentices. The apprenticeship reform in 2017 included the Apprenticeship Levy for larger businesses and the development of degree level apprenticeships, which is being emphasized by Newcastle College.

Marc McPake went on to say “Apprenticeships continue to be at the forefront of Newcastle College’s offer for both learners and employers.

“We believe that they are a positive career choice for people of any age or skill level and a sensible investment for businesses which are looking to grow and develop through a skilled workforce.

“Our apprenticeship programme is designed to meet the skills gaps and needs of employers within the North East while creating work-ready individuals with the right skills and experience to forge a successful career.

“This awards evening has shown how successful and valuable apprenticeships are in helping us to do this. It’s also given us an opportunity to highlight the hard work apprentices do and say thank you to our employer partners who have made the choice to invest in apprenticeships to help grow their business.”

If you are considering an apprenticeship, contact Newcastle College for more information and begin your own journey into employment.


Technical operator apprenticeship gets green light

Smaller post houses will be able to claim back the estimated £9,000 cost of new apprenticeship scheme for machine operators


An industry-backed apprenticeship scheme for post-production technical operators is set to go live from September.

It comes after a new apprenticeship standard for post technical operators was approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA).

The standard has been developed by a group of ‘Trailblazer’ employers including Clear Cut Pictures, Technicolor, MPC, Fifty Fifty Post, Molinare, Company 3, Encore, Run VT, Edit Store, Platform and Pinewood.

The level 4 apprenticeship, equivalent to an HNC qualification, will lead to jobs as machine room operators in post-production companies, VFX houses and specialist content delivery companies. It is also suitable for operators who support the creative process within in-house production facilities.

Chair of the Trailblazer group, Rowan Bray, MD of Clear Cut said: “Post production technical operators are key to smooth running of a post-production facility. The role became more challenging following the transition to end-to-end digital workflows and this apprenticeship will provide the essential knowledge and skills to give trainees a solid foundation for a successful career.”

The course will cover best practice for media ingest, storage management, media export, secure digital despatch, support for creative colleagues in content finishing and quality assessment of finished content. Trainees will be assessed for “operational competence” after the 12-month apprenticeship by a multiple-choice exam, a professional discussion and practical tests under the eye of an independent assessor.

Two years in-the-making, the development of the apprenticeship was assisted by secretariat support paid for by the High-end TV Skills Fund administered by ScreenSkills.

Kaye Elliott, Director of the ScreenSkills High-end TV Skills Fund, said: “We wanted to support the development of this apprenticeship because technical operators are such an important part of the post-production process and we know that the technical demands are increasing all the time. It is also part of our broader work using industry contributions to the skills fund to help find, train and retain the skilled and inclusive workforce that high-end television production needs.”

Industry trade body, UK Screen Alliance has backed the apprenticeship from the start and CEO, Neil Hatton is one of its key authors. “We want to raise the bar in technical skills for post production operators by ensuring that they don’t just learn how to do the necessary tasks by rote but instead have a deeper understanding of the theory behind the operational best practice as well,” said Hatton.

Apprentices will spend 20% of their working time in off-the-job training delivered by an approved training provider or college, whilst the remaining 80% is practical on-the-job training and experience provided by their employer.

The training is expected to cost around £9,000 per apprentice. As this apprenticeship has been fully approved by the IfA, larger companies can purchase the off-the-job training out of their compulsory Apprenticeship Levy payments, however smaller companies can receive a full subsidy to cover these costs.

Hatton explained: “The government will pay 95% of the apprenticeship training cost for non-levy paying employers but UK Screen can better that. We have obtained promises from large employers in our sector with unspent levy, that they will donate a portion of that to small employers which will then cover 100% of the training costs. UK Screen’s role is to act as dating-agency to connect willing levy donors to smaller companies wanting to employ apprentices and to facilitate that transfer.”

The next step for the Trailblazer Group is to run a tendering process to select one or more preferred training providers with the aim of delivering training from September, synchronised with the academic year intake.





Nelson and Colne College is top in the country for classroom achievement and Apprenticeships for second year running

Newly-published National Achievement Rate Tables show that Nelson and Colne College has retained its position as the number one college in the country for 16-18 classroom and Apprenticeship achievement.

In the tables published this week by the government, NCC comes top of the table for the second consecutive year for 16-18 classroom learning achievement, at all levels, and for 16-18 timely Apprenticeship achievement, at all levels. The figures are calculated from results achieved by students and Apprentices in the 2017/18 academic year.

The newly-published statistics come hot on the heels of the Department for Education’s performance tables which placed NCC as the number one college in Lancashire for A Levels and vocational courses, based on progress scores. The college is also the leading FE College in the country for GCSE Mathematics, for progress, and second nationally for GCSE English based on the same measure.

Principal Amanda Melton, said: “It’s always pleasing for colleagues to be recognised by these league tables. But league tables do not tell the full story in terms of the impact of this College on students in moving to their next steps in work or at university. The exceptional progress in key subjects, across A Levels but also in Mathematics and English, including resit GCSEs, is something we have worked hard to achieve in recent years. In particular, Mathematics and English are the subjects which inhibit development of successful careers when the skills are not properly grasped and practiced.

“Likewise, those 16 to 18-year-old students who opt to undertake an Apprenticeship with one of our partner employers experience exceptional success – these new college league tables place us top nationally for this measure. Nelson and Colne College will deliver the new T Level qualifications from next year as part of our commitment to ensuring that our students’ studies are relevant and equip them for the fast developing workforce and requirements of the UK economy.

“Nelson and Colne College students exceed their potential from whichever point they begin their educational journey with us. This growth, leading to continued outstanding results, is only achievable through excellent teaching coupled with the sustained support from parents, teaching and support staff right across the college.”

In its 2017/18 results, NCC achieved a 99% pass rate at A Level and a 99.6% pass rate in advanced vocational courses. One in five leavers once again progressed onto a Russell Group university, including Oxbridge. The college is also the best college in Lancashire for student satisfaction, according to the FE Choices Learner Satisfaction Survey.

Ishaq Akbar, 18, progressed on to University College London to study Mathematics after gaining A*AA in his A Levels in Mathematics, Further Mathematics and Physics at NCC.

A former student of Sir John Thursby Community College, Ishaq said: “I really enjoyed my time at NCC – it has been a great college for me. I had a number of brilliant opportunities during my time at NCC including being introduced to the Social Mobility Foundation. Through that, I spent two weeks at JP Morgan in London which was an amazing experience and really useful for me looking to go into a finance related career.”

Faye Hartley, 19, took up a Higher Apprenticeship in Merchandising at leading Tesco brand Florence and Fred in London after achieving Triple Distinction* in her Level 3 BTEC Business course.

Former St Christopher’s CE High School student Faye said: “I really learned a lot in my time at Nelson and Colne College which I feel will contribute well to my future career. You are pushed to your full potential here and you are supported well.”

Jon Lambert, 19, formerly of Ribblesdale High School completed his Level 3 Apprenticeship in Catering at Grassington House through nelson and Colne College and is now working full time at the restaurant.

Jon said: “I have received excellent support from the college and my employer during the course of my Apprenticeship. Working at Grassington House feels like working with your family and I would recommend an Apprenticeship to anyone thinking about one, as I have learnt so many new skills.”


Inverness College to begin Scotland’s first Childcare apprentice scheme

Inverness College UHI is to run a pilot of the country’s first Graduate Apprentice scheme

The Graduate Apprenticeship (GA) in Early learning and Childcare will allow school leavers and those looking for a career change to gain all their relevant qualifications and experience through work-based learning course over a three year period.

During the course, which starts in September, students will study for an undergraduate degree and gain Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) practitioner status whilst gaining professional hands on experience in the field.

A total of 15 apprenticeships are being made available through the course, with students being given day release to complete their classroom studies ‘on the job’.

Each student in turn will graduate with a degree plus three years of valuable industry experience.

GA programme leader Alice Mongiello

GA programme leader Alice Mongiello said: “Increasingly we’re seeing staff within the sector seeking to upskill. This is the first step towards this, supporting the aspirations of the sector, the government and staff themselves who want a much deeper level of knowledge, understanding and professional competence. We are delighted to pilot this new programme, which has already been warmly received by early learning and childcare providers across Scotland, from both the public, private and third sector.”

Lessons will be delivered by the city based college and be networked across University of the Highlands and Islands partners including Moray, Perth, Shetland, Lewis and Argyll & Bute, allowing people to study remotely.

The scheme, which is the first of its kind, is the result of a successful bid by the University of the Highlands and Islands to Skills Development Scotland.

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) Head of Service Innovation, Tony Coultas, said:  “The success and growth of Graduate Apprenticeships demonstrates that they are supporting employers to upskill their workforce and giving individuals more opportunities to learn and develop their career whilst in employment.

“As a pilot project, the Early Learning and Childcare Graduate Apprenticeship is funded by the Scottish Government and we are working with both the University of West of Scotland and the University of Highlands and Islands to understand its future potential.”

The scheme should help in meeting the government’s commitment in employing 11,000 new childcare workers by next year to meet their objectives to provide 30 hours of free childcare to eligible two-year-olds and a three and four year olds by next year, as the sector continues to face a skills shortage.

Source Press & Journal


Tipperary TD Jackie Cahill calls for fresh apprentice drive



Fianna Fáil TD Jackie Cahill has said that a new FF policy aimed at modernising the apprenticeship system will make apprenticeships in Ireland attractive, accessible and affordable.

The policy, which was launched this month, puts forward a number of proposals which will make apprenticeships a more attractive option for post-Leaving Cert students.

“We want to see more women engaging with the apprenticeship model as well as widening the variety of skills and opportunities by bring in public organisations and technology companies,” he said.

The Thurles-based TD said that Ireland had fallen behind the UK and other European countries in terms of apprenticeship offering. In 2018 the Government only managed to hit a quarter of its modest apprenticeship targets while in 2017 it managed only four in 10, he said.

Deputy Cahill said that this had huge implications for a variety of sectors, with the hospitality and restaurant industry being one of the hardest hit along with the construction sector.

source Tipperary Live


Sheffield Teaching Hospitals wins accolade for healthcare science apprenticeship scheme


A team from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have won a top award after leading a training programme which has created more opportunities for people across the region to start careers in healthcare science.

The Yorkshire and Humber Apprentice Implementation Group, which is chaired by Mandy Scott from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, picked up the first prize in the prestigious Shirley Fletcher Apprenticeship Award at the National Healthcare Awards in recognition of the outstanding contribution it has made in developing the healthcare science workforce of the future.

As well as helping to ensure apprentices gain first-hand experience in their chosen careers at NHS hospitals and services across Yorkshire and the Humber, people wanting to pursue a career in healthcare science or those already working in the field can access direct training and gain formal qualifications through dedicated programmes run by The Sheffield College, Sheffield Hallam University and other education providers in the Yorkshire and Humber region.


Since the apprenticeship scheme has been running, over 120 people have been offered apprenticeship positions, with 80% going on to achieve employment by the end of their placement.

Healthcare scientists are involved in 80% of all clinical decisions made in the NHS, helping to prevent, diagnose and treat a wide range of medical conditions.

Depending on their specialism staff within the healthcare science workforce can diagnose and help to investigate disease, guide treatment through the production of high quality images, undertake laboratory testing and ensure that medical equipment is working safely and correctly. They also undertake research and innovation and conduct a wide variety of clinical tests and treatments.

Dr Harriet Crook, Lead Healthcare Scientist for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to have won this prestigious award. Healthcare science is an interesting and varied career offering good employment prospects. This award not only recognises all of our amazing apprentices but also the team who have worked so hard to develop the talents of our apprentices and create a sustainable workforce that will provide stability for healthcare sciences in the region and the patients they serve.”

Mandy Scott, Apprentice Lead for Healthcare Science for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, added “The career framework we have developed for apprentices in healthcare science now offers people of all ages entering the profession the opportunity to potentially enter as a level 2 apprentice and rise to the top of the healthcare science career ladder.”

To find out more about apprenticeship opportunities at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust visit


How apprenticeship standards will help us build a skilled workforce for the future


Yesterday, Wednesday 27 March, the Social Market Foundation published a new report entitled Making Apprenticeships Work. The report says titles should be given to people with advanced craft skills, in the same way that an academic with a PhD is called “Doctor”.

For example, the Social Market Foundation suggests people who complete high-level apprenticeships should be called “master craftsman” or “master craftswoman” in order to boost the status of apprenticeships. This was covered by BBC Online, the Times and the Telegraph.

In addition to this, our latest apprenticeship and levy statistics were released today, Thursday 28 March. The data shows that apprenticeship starts in January 2019 are 14.6% higher than in January 2018. The average expected off-the-job training hours have also increased by 26.3% from 490 hours to 630 hours.

We have been actively working to increase the profile and status of apprenticeships in this country. We believe the best way to do this is to make them higher-quality and more recognisable qualifications – that’s why we’ve made the move to the new apprenticeship standards, away from the old-style apprenticeships.

Our reforms to the apprenticeships system have fundamentally changed what an apprenticeship involves, and the long-term opportunities an apprenticeship can provide. Every single standard is matched to a recognised occupation so apprentices can be confident they will gain the skills they need to secure a good job and employer know they can access the skilled workforce they need.

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton said:

It’s excellent news that the number of people starting on our new high-quality apprenticeships in the first two quarters 2018/19 increased by 10% compared to last year.

We overhauled the apprenticeships system almost 2 years ago to the day and we have made good and steady progress. Apprenticeships are now longer, higher-quality, with more off-the-job training and provide for a proper assessment at the end, with the Levy giving employers the flexibility to invest in the skills they need for the future. I’m  delighted that thousands of employers large and small are now embracing the huge benefits apprenticeships are bringing to their business and offering people of all ages and backgrounds the chance to progress.

Graduate Earnings

Today, we have published statistics that show the median earnings in 2016 to 2017. The figures show that one to three years after completing degree, graduates’ earnings have increased from the previous year to £19,900 one year after graduating, and £23,300 three years after graduating. These earnings also increased after being adjusted for inflation.

Universities Minister Chris Skidmore said:

We now have record rates of English 18-year-olds going into higher education, so I am delighted to see that graduate earnings have continued to increase for recent graduates, showing that it pays to study in our world-class higher education system.

We want students and their parents to have the best possible information about higher education. This data is an invaluable tool to help prospective students make the right choice and know what to expect from the course they choose.

It is vital that we ensure that higher education carries on delivering for students, the taxpayer and the economy, and it will continue to do so as long as we focus relentlessly on quality in our system.

You can read more about the new statistics on graduate earnings here.

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The Drive For Quality In #Apprenticeships

by Ian Pretty  Published: 29 March 2019

Ensuring quality is an essential component of creating a truly world class apprenticeship system.

The process of the reforms to apprenticeships were intended to embed quality at every level of delivery.

High quality apprenticeships will give apprentices confidence that the skills they are learning will allow them to succeed in their future careers.

However, in many ways the UK apprenticeship system falls behind the curve.

In a recent report on apprenticeship quality, the education select committee found that:

“Too many apprentices are simply not getting the high-quality training they deserve and too many people, particularly the young and disadvantaged, are not being given the support they need to pursue an apprenticeship and get on in life.”

Three million apprenticeship starts by 2020

The need to focus on quality is not helped by the erroneous nature of the three million apprenticeship starts by 2020 target. The target does not tell us anything insightful about how well, or how badly, the apprenticeship system is working.

The target focusses on starts, which is important, but is only one of many indicators needed to provide a complete picture of how well the system is working.

Consider, for example, that an apprentice could drop out of their programme mid-way through, they would still have started their course, so they’d still be counted as a contributing towards meeting the target.

However, the success of the apprenticeship system relies much more on quality and achievement rates, than it does on the number of people that undertook an apprenticeship but never completed it.

Comprehensive reporting of apprenticeship outcomes

In order to produce a complete set of indicators to see the real impact of reforms, more data points need to be conceptualised. So, we would support the publication of complete data with comprehensive reporting of apprenticeship progression outcomes. This should include regular data on outcomes by provider, sector, occupation and region.

The quality point also extends to providers. Ofsted’s 2016/17 annual report found that more than half of the providers required improvement. Overall provide quality is variable, so we need to work collectively to improve them across the system.

RoATP Reform

There are currently 2,500 providers on the RoATP register, and 55% have never been inspected by Ofsted before. The register aimed to enable employers to access a wider pool of apprenticeship training providers to deliver value for money and quality. But this has led to complications within the system, as many poor-quality organisations have filtered through.

The regulatory framework needs to be adopted to incentivise colleges for good behaviour and standards, while at the same time exerting limitations and restrictions on the bad providers. Employers should be able to trust that a provider’s acceptance onto the register indicates that they can provide high-quality apprenticeship and skills training.

A reliable quality assured product

In taking forward this agenda, FE colleges will have a big role to play. If we are going to change the perception of apprenticeships and if career advisers can sell their benefits, they need to be a reliable quality assured product.

Apprenticeships need to convince young people and their parents that they will stand them with an opportunity to progress into meaningful employment or further study. It is no longer just about volume registrations for courses that are in demand; it’s about working with employers to shape the demand amongst the student population.

We need to work together, collaborate and press for the small changes that would make so much difference in the apprenticeship system. Apprenticeships will play a crucial role in delivering a credible and respected system of technical education, and Collab Group colleges want to help lead the transformation.

Ian Pretty, CEO, Collab Group

Source FE News


Monthly apprenticeships update: January starts up 15% but down 21% on 2017

Apprenticeship starts for January are up 15 per cent on last year but down 21 per cent on the same month in 2017 before the levy was introduced, new government figures have revealed.

There have been 29,100 starts recorded so far in January 2019, compared with 36,700 in January 2017 and 25,400 in January 2018, according to the Department for Education’s monthly apprenticeship statistics update published this morning.

January 2017 is a better comparator than January 2018 given that there was a huge drop in starts following the introduction of the levy in May 2017.

There have been 225,800 apprenticeship starts reported to date between August 2018 and January 2019 for the 2018/19 academic year.

This is 10 per cent up from the 206,100 reported in the equivalent period in 2017/18, but 16 per cent down on the 269,600 in 2016/17.

Skills and apprenticeships minister Anne Milton said: “It’s excellent news that the number of people starting on our new high-quality apprenticeships in the first two quarters 2018/19 increased by 10 per cent compared to last year.

“We overhauled the apprenticeships system almost two years ago to the day and we have made good and steady progress.

“I’m delighted that thousands of employers large and small are now embracing the huge benefits apprenticeships are bringing to their business and offering people of all ages and backgrounds the chance to progress.”





Sheffield Hallam University will become the first institution in the UK to offer degree apprenticeships in physiotherapy and occupational therapy.

From April, current and aspiring physiotherapists and occupational therapists will have the opportunity to gain a degree while working as the first apprentices start the 30-month course.

As part of Sheffield Hallam’s National Centre of Excellence for Degree Apprenticeships (NCEDA), the apprentices will attend a series of study blocks throughout the year within the University’s award-winning teaching facilities with the remaining time being spent applying their learning in the workplace.


The new courses have been approved by the Health and Care Professions Council as well as by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and the Royal College of Occupational Therapists.

The employer’s apprenticeship levy or co-funding will cover the course fees and the apprentices will receive a salary as they learn.

The intensive courses have been designed in consultation with employers from primary and secondary care, local government and the private sector across Yorkshire and the Humber, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.

They include an integrated end-point assessment which checks that the employee meets the apprenticeship standard and is ready to join the profession with full occupational competence.

Graduates are eligible to apply to register with the HCPC and can apply to become members of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

Sheffield Hallam’s NCEDA is one of the UK’s leading providers of degree apprenticeships, working with over 270 employers. Apprenticeship courses are available within a range of sectors including construction, engineering, health and social care and cross sector in digital/IT, leadership and management.

Over the next academic year, the University will welcome its 1,000th apprentice and is on target to host over 2,000 apprentices by the end of 2020.

Courses are developed in consultation with key partners, including industry leaders, SMEs, and the Local Enterprise Partnership and employers such as Network Rail, Rolls Royce, JCB and Nestle are already working with the NCEDA, which was officially opened by Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry MP in November last year.

Conor Moss, Director of NCEDA, said: “Degree apprenticeships provide more routes to success for more people, particularly in regions with traditionally low productivity. Our courses are designed to address skills gaps in priority sectors – helping to drive regional and national economic growth.

“At a time when the health sector faces a workforce crisis, these two new degree apprenticeships in physiotherapy and occupational therapy are a unique opportunity for health sector employers to recruit new, career-ready professionals or develop the skills and capabilities of their existing workforce.”

Sheffield Hallam is the largest provider of health and social care education in England with more than 8,000 students qualifying as healthcare professionals from Sheffield Hallam in the last five years. 

With courses covering all aspects of healthcare including: nursing, midwifery, allied health, social care and sport, its curriculum creates the skilled workforce the NHS needs to deliver better long-term health outcomes for the nation.

Health professional trainees benefit from an interdisciplinary teaching approach, working with partners and academics who are leaders in their fields. The University’s partnerships with hospital trusts, social care providers and leading health charities, provides around 20,000 placement opportunities for Sheffield Hallam’s healthcare students each year. 

Ruth Allarton, head of Sheffield Hallam’s department for allied health professions, said: “These new degree apprenticeships are an exciting development for the physiotherapy and occupational therapy professions. The fact Sheffield Hallam is the first university in the country to run these courses is an example of how we can use our extensive expertise in healthcare and longstanding partnerships to provide employers with an additional route to train registered health care professionals or attract new talent to the healthcare workforce.”


Lewisham Council launches a £90,000 a year apprenticeship fund

Lewisham Council has launched a new fund worth £90,000 a year to create more apprenticeships within the borough.

The Apprenticeship and Workforce Development Fund is aimed to help locally based employers invest in producing more apprenticeships.

Lewisham Council hopes that this will help create a more inclusive economy and more job opportunities for its residents.

The scheme was first announced by Councilor Joe Dromey, the Lewisham Cabinet member responsible for jobs and skills, during National Apprenticeship Week that took place between March 5 and March 9 this year.

Created from unspent levies, the funds have now been added to the borough’s annual apprenticeship budget.

Local small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) based in Lewisham will now have a chance to train new apprentices or to retrain existing workers by applying directly to the Lewisham Council’s Apprenticeship Team.

To do so, they must meet several criteria, including paying the new apprentices at least the National Minimum Wage for employees aged 21 and over, currently £7.70 per hour.

Dromey said: “We want to help more local residents to access high-quality apprenticeships, and we want to support more local employers to invest in the skills of their workforce.”

“We are committed to building an economy that works for the many, and apprenticeships are a vital part of this.”

Apprenticeships are jobs with training that allow trainees to combine work and study by giving them the opportunity to work full-time while typically attending class for one day a week.

At the end of the apprenticeship, workers will be able to receive nationally accredited qualifications that will help them build a further career.

These typically include either GCSE-level qualifications, technical certificates or, in some cases, academic qualifications equivalent to a full Bachelors degree.

A House of Commons 2019 report stated that there has been a fall in the number of apprenticeships starts across England, with 119,100 fewer starts in 2017/18 than in 2016/17.

For more information, please contact the Apprenticeship Team by emailing or calling 020 8314 6452.


Why the IfATE have decided to become more transparent about   plans

Sir Gerry Berragan sets out his institute’s programme for the new financial year

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education is two years old next month and has developed considerably in that time. We have reduced the time it takes to approve new apprenticeship standards, effectively doubling our approval rate, and learner and employer engagement with the reform programme has increased. But we will not rest on our laurels and this year are looking at how we continue to improve, with a key focus on quality.

Our aim is for apprenticeships to enjoy a respected and prestigious status as an attractive route to skilled employment and further development. To do this they must be universally associated with the highest standards.

To that end, this week we have published the Quality Strategy, developed with our partners in the Quality Alliance. This sets out best practice expectations before, during and after apprenticeships.

The institute chairs the alliance, whose members include the Department for Education, Ofsted, Ofqual, the Quality Assurance Agency and the Office for Students. The Association of Employment and Learning Providers, the Association of Colleges, the Federation of Awarding Bodies and Universities UK attend meetings as observers.

The strategy is a commitment to ensuring that the training apprentices receive, on and off the job, is of the highest quality, leading to an end-point assessment that demonstrates that they are occupationally competent.

As part of this, we are developing a revised framework for external quality assurance and working with the Education and Skills Funding Agency to strengthen the criteria applied to the register of end-point assessment organisations.

The institute is always happy for feedback and to consider how we can evolve and improve.

We have been criticised for being too secretive. Any new organisation tasked with such important responsibilities for ensuring the success of the technical education reform programme inevitably would be initially cautious in how it communicated with employers, the FE sector and wider world.

But our established position in the apprenticeships and T-levels arena is enabling us to engage more freely with the press and public.

Wherever possible we are happy to share information with our stakeholders and the public so they can understand the work we do – although there will always be cases where commercially sensitive information cannot be shared.

But to improve transparency we are reviewing our processes, including how funding bands are calculated and what supporting information can be shared. We hope to make more information public in time.

We also launched our Faster and Better programme with the aim of working more closely with employers to refine our processes so that standards could be identified, developed and approved more quickly and effectively.

We published our 400th standard last month, two months ahead of schedule, and have now moved on to more than 410.

Now we are looking to a second wave of improvements and to having 500 approved standards before the end of this next financial year.

We are also proud to have played a key role in creating a rich training landscape that provides a range of opportunities at all levels. We don’t see a “middle-class grab”, but rather a broad system that supports learners from a diversity of backgrounds and education to learn new skills in a wider range of apprenticeships.

Most recent provisional figures confirmed that employers and apprentices are throwing their support behind the new apprenticeships, with starts on standards now topping 300,000.

Our preparations for T-levels are also going to plan and, as things stand, the first wave will be available for teaching from September next year.  And this week we have released the Invitation to tender for the next seven pathways in wave two of T-levels, two weeks ahead of the original release date.

This approach allowed the government and the institute to work with providers, employers, awarding organisations and other partners to design the new system for successful further rollout.

It all points towards exciting times ahead for technical education and an established and successful institute.



University South Wales Launch Innovative New Degree Apprenticeship



The University of South Wales has joined forces with technology company Capgemini in the UK to launch an innovative new degree apprenticeship. The course will provide students with the opportunity to gain a University degree qualification without incurring a student debt while gaining hands-on experience in IT consultancy.

The first cohort of 20 students will start the BSc (Hons) Digital and Technology Solutions apprenticeship this September, while working at Capgemini, a global leader in consulting, technology services and digital transformation.

Fully funded by Welsh Government, the course will allow those starting their careers or looking to reskill to become rounded professionals with a broad technological skill set and a consulting edge.

The four-and-a-half year course will be delivered through a unique combination of online learning and face-to-face teaching at the University’s Pontypridd campus. It kicks off with an intensive 8-week bootcamp, where apprentices will develop core skills needed for working with clients.

Applicants will be assessed at Capgemini’s Delivery Centre in Treforest, and successful candidates will not only benefit from full employment, a competitive salary and a sponsored degree but also opportunities to progress through the company.

Francis Cowe, Director of FE Partnerships and Degree Apprenticeship at USW said:

“This is an exciting opportunity further promoting and growing digital and technological expertise in the region.  We are seeing an increasing demand for high level applied digital graduates. With the support of Welsh Government and Capgemini we are proud to further cement USW’s reputation for co-developing digital skills solutions in the region.

“This builds on our existing portfolio of provision in data science and cyber security. As a global company Capgemini will offer apprentices access to a wider national and international network and provide opportunities for apprentices to develop work experience in a range of sectors.”

Stuart Coombs, Head of Capgemini’s Wales Delivery Centre, commented:

“We’ve been running apprenticeships at Capgemini for almost a decade and they’ve proved to be a key part of our growth while providing a great employment opportunity to talent from diverse backgrounds. It is fantastic to be now launching our scheme in Wales – our apprentices will be able to attain a full Honours degree while growing their digital and soft skills with a global company, which combined will help unlock their full potential and future-proof them. Together with our investment in the Delivery Centre in Treforest, it is another step forward in addressing the digital skills gap and supporting our long-standing clients in the South Wales.”

Kirsty Williams, Minister for Education, said:

“It is essential people are equipped with the right skills and knowledge to benefit from the opportunities an evolving labour market presents.  Degree apprenticeships are ideal for people already working in technology industries but are keen to study to degree level, or those who are new to the workforce but would like to study for a degree at the same time.

“This is also about improving social mobility and widening participation – providing alternative routes into higher education for people who didn’t consider or may not have had the opportunity to go to university straight after leaving school.

“The degree apprenticeship therefore offers those all-round benefits – they’re good for individual development, good for diversifying entry into the professions and good for Wales’ economic well-being.”



Travilearn debuts business travel apprenticeship programme

Specialist education providers Travilearn and Skills Training UK have partnered to design a new Apprenticeship Standard course for the corporate travel industry called Pathway to Business Travel Professional.

The collaboration follows growing demand from the industry to attract and retain talent by teaching new and existing employees the skills needed to work in business travel.

The new programme is available to employers by using the government’s Apprenticeship Levy, with those companies paying the levy able to access 100 per cent funding for the programme. Ninety per cent funding is also available to non-paying organisations.

Travilearn says the Pathway to Business Travel Professional programme focuses on client-facing job roles, as well as those that involve delivery of high-quality products and services to corporate buyers, bookers and business travellers. Typical positions include operations, support services, sales and account management for both TMCs and suppliers including airlines, hotel groups and intermediary service providers.

Throughout the course, learners will develop knowledge, skills and behaviours for customer service, as well as business travel expertise that covers travel products, services, technology and industry trends. They will also learn how to meet KPIs and regulatory requirements.

The duration of the programme is a minimum of 12 months and mixes traditional classroom delivery with e-learning modules offered by Travilearn in its travel management Diploma courses, which offer 24/7 access to training content regardless of location.

Karen McKenna, MD of Travilearn, explained: “Strong global growth in the corporate travel sector has increased the demand for good staff and management, and organisations are struggling to attract candidates with the right set of skills. Those already in the industry also need to have the type of training that provides them with the knowledge for career advancement and personal development. This new Apprenticeship Standard programme includes highly interactive content including videos, infographics, audio and quizzes, with narrative modules featuring case studies and helpful tips that test and build the learner’s understanding. Learners are also supported by instructors who engage and interact with them for assessment and providing feedback on progress.

“We’ve created our course with Skills Training UK, one of the biggest providers of apprenticeship courses in the country, so that learners can have access to structured and certified business travel training through the government levy programme. The course is designed to contribute to their professional development throughout their career.”

Stephen Crawley, COO of Skills Training UK, added: “We are delighted to partner with Travilearn to create a very powerful and relevant training offer designed for the business travel industry. It is an exciting new opportunity for travel employers to make use of the Apprenticeship Levy to further develop their employees.”

Completion of the Pathway to Business Travel Professional course leads to eligibility to join the Institute of Customer Service as an individual member at Professional level, as well as the GTMCBusiness Travel Professional Diploma, Level 1.


Careers fair to be held at Belfast Met


:: With a vision to nurture the talent and ambition of local students, Belfast Met is engaging employers and students at an apprenticeship careers event to be hosted jointly by the College’s Centre for Skills & Apprenticeships and Careers Service.

Taking place at the College’s e3 campus at Springvale on Thursday March 28 from 4-7pm, the apprenticeship careers fair and open day will provide employers with the opportunity to meet their future talent pool as well as increase awareness of the career prospects and live apprenticeship vacancies they have available to those seeking career options.

With up to 30 companies in attendance, the event is an opportunity for students to meet face-to-face with employers who recruit apprentices and talk to them directly about career opportunities within their organisation.

Students will also have the chance to meet college skills support coaches and staff who will support them throughout the duration of their apprenticeship course, as well as get further advice on minimum entry requirements for individual courses, what to expect in relation to the admission process and next steps.

A mix of apprenticeship and higher level apprenticeships courses, fully funded by the Department of Economy NI, will be on offer across a range of industry areas including IT, accountancy, business administration, bakery, hospitality and construction.

Employers attending will include Hastings Hotel Group, Mivan, Black Box Fitness, NIE Networks, BDO, Deloitte, Translink, Ulster Bank, Allen & Overy and French Village Bakery. For more details email


:: Northern Ireland’s first ever dedicated resource designed to connect emerging graduate talent with leading companies has been launched.

Radar ( has the support of international and local indigenous businesses including EY, Herbert Smith Freehills, FinTrU, Musgrave, Bazaarvoice, Autoline, Flanagan Flooring, Brett Martin, FSCom, Ortus, Muldoon & Co Accountants and Helios IT.

The new platform, developed by recruitment company Abacus Talent Group, aims to become the ultimate career resource centralised in one site, transforming the graduate recruitment market in Northern Ireland by bridging emerging talent with local employers.

For graduates, Radar provides a free dedicated tool to access vital information on companies and sectors to match their specific career interests, with tailored alerts for each individual. It enables them to discover information about local sectors with hiring demands and skills shortages, helping inform decision-making in a range of areas from exam choices to placements.

It also provides detailed information on specific local businesses from background information to the benefits offered, new jobs and top tips. Radar incorporates articles, blogs, videos and podcasts to help graduate career development.

Radar incorporates a range of useful resources for graduates and companies alike, publishing in-depth research, expert advice, company profiles, local career case studies and auto messaging to prepare gradates for the future and inform companies on the hot topics of interest to the emerging talent in Northern Ireland.

source Irish News





Become an Apprentice at voestalpine Metsec plc

We have been recruiting apprentices for over 10 years and we’re one of the first manufacturers to offer our apprenticeship training on-site. Our training centre was opened by Sir Alan Jones, the Chairman Emeritus at Toyota UK and chair of SEMTA, the Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering, and Manufacturing Technologies.

Every year we recruit school leavers for our apprenticeship programme and in 2018 we employed our 100th apprentice. Our target is to have over 20% of the voestalpine Metsec plc workforce made up of apprentices by 2020. We’re split into different divisions and apprentices get involved in all areas of the business including IT, tool making, structural design, sales, maintenance, project engineering, profile manipulation, custom roll forming, quality and so much more.

How does it work?

Your qualification will be delivered over a minimum of 26 weeks which will give you a full Level 2 qualification. If you successfully complete the level 2 qualifications you may have the opportunity to upgrade to level 3.  Here you will then spend 18 months in different divisions; averaging 6 weeks per division before you are given a placement in a department that suits your skill set.  This will then run for around a 3 month trial. If the trial is successful you will be placed in the department to complete the Level 3 Apprenticeship.

Your typical week:

Monday to Thursday 7:30am – 4pm and Friday 7:30am – 12:30pm at voestalpine Metsec plc.

One day a week you will attend off site to gain a technical certificate at a local College.


Our apprenticeship vacancies can be found here Jobs and Careers. Please e-mail

Want to find out more?

If you have any further queries, please e-mail

Are you a school or College and want to work with us?

Did you know we’re a STEM Ambassador? We work with local schools and Colleges for site visits, taster days, presentations in schools and careers evenings. We get our existing male and female apprentices involved so your students can hear about the amazing opportunity straight from them.

We accept 16 students for a taster session at Metsec which lasts 3.5 hours and we take on a maximum of 5 students at a time for work experience. Work experience places are high in demand so please contact us as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.


Solicitor apprenticeship scheme started by Womble Bond Dickinson and Bristol City Council

The Bristol office of transatlantic law firm Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has teamed up with Bristol City Council to launch a solicitor apprenticeship scheme aimed at widening entry to the legal profession.

The apprenticeships will take six years to complete and consist of four years studying towards a law degree. 

While they will be employed on a full-time basis, the apprentices will be expected to complete distance learning, with study days at university.

For the final two years the apprentices will join the graduate rotation and newly-qualified solicitor process in WBD and the council.

The scheme, announced last week to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week, is aimed at supporting social mobility, opening up new routes into the legal profession and improving employability for young people.

WBD, a top 20 UK law firm, will take on three or four young people a year and the council at least one under the scheme. The two decided to collaborate on the launch and promote it to widen take-up among Bristol’s young people.

WBD was among the first in the legal profession to make legal apprenticeships available and already runs a successful solicitor apprenticeship programme in its Newcastle and Southampton offices. The firm, which has its second largest UK office in Bristol, employs a total of 37 apprentices, including solicitor apprentices, paralegal apprentices and apprentices working in support teams including HR, facilities and IT.

Bristol-based WBD head of recruitment Sam Lee said: “We were thrilled to launch our solicitor apprenticeship scheme on the same week as National Apprenticeship Week. Hiring apprentices is absolutely the right thing to do in our sector, creating alternative avenues for people who believe that university isn’t the right path for them.

“We have been amazed by the success of the scheme so far and the commitment shown by our apprentices.

“We will continue to develop and expand our apprenticeship offering and provide continued learning opportunities following our apprentices’ graduation.”

Bristol City Council manages, supports and develops new partnerships that promote higher level skills in the city through apprenticeships. The council has 185 staff engaged in apprenticeships at all levels of study and has assisted more than 2,000 local people gain new skills and sustainable careers through supported apprenticeship programmes.

The council’s head of legal service Nancy Rollason added: “We are pleased to be working with Womble Bond Dickinson to launch our first solicitor apprenticeship programme, which will be a rolling programme year on year. We are keen to recruit dynamic people from a diverse range of backgrounds who will have the opportunity to contribute to the life of the city and who want to pursue an alternative to university.”

Applications are due to close on April 30 with the successful candidates starting their role this September.

Source Bristol Business.Net


Two of the UK’s biggest banks have agreed to become the first big businesses to contribute their Apprenticeship Levy to the West Midlands Combined Authority’s new regional pot.

Small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the West Midlands can now apply to receive funding for apprenticeship training through the WMCA.

Lloyds Banking Group and HSBC are working with the WMCA to transfer their unspent levy to help SMEs across the region fund apprenticeship training.

Currently, firms with a wage bill of more than £3m pay the levy automatically to HMRC – and SMEs can apply for funding from this pot to pay up to 90 per cent of the costs to train their apprentices.

However, even with 90 per cent of the training costs covered by government funding, SMEs may still face training fees of about £2,700 per apprentice, the WMCA said.

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “The West Midlands is already the best place outside London for digital, construction, automotive and manufacturing skills.

“We want to help more SMEs to invest in training to boost growth and productivity.

“With access to levy funds, we can provide full funding for SMEs to train apprentices. I’m absolutely delighted that Lloyds and HSBC have become first levy-paying firms to sign up to our transfer fund, and welcome their commitment to fund new apprenticeship starts at SMEs across the West Midlands.”

Michelle Blayney, chief culture and talent officer for Lloyds Banking Group, added: “We are delighted to be working with the WMCA on this important initiative to help more businesses engage with apprenticeships and address skills gaps in key sectors of the economy.”

Iain Heath, head of emerging Talent UK at HSBC, said: “As a business based in the West Midlands, we’re excited to be involved in this initiative.

“It brings together our desire to develop future skills and talent with an awareness that SMEs can provide exceptional opportunities for apprentices, often within their local area.”

Source Insider Media


Mondelez International set to recruit 55 apprentices for its UK business

Global confectionery group Mondelēz International is hiring 55 new apprentices for 2019 within the UK, across its full range of operations.

The UK arm of the company, which is home to Cadbury Dairy Milk, Green and Black’s and Oreo, is hiring trainee roles as scientists, engineers and to supply chain specialists across its British sites at Bournville, Sheffield and Reading.

Eleanor Roberts, customer collaboration specialist meals, customer service and logistics Northern Europe, offered tips for those considering an apprenticeship with the business.

She said: “The best thing about a Mondelēz International  apprenticeship is the level of responsibility you are given from your first day. You are not treated like a teenager leaving sixth form, you are given real autonomy and accountability! I assumed that apprentices would not have much importance, the reality is that the entire business really wants you to succeed. You are a valued member of the organisation.”

“I wish I’d known known how valuable apprentices are as an alternative route to university. I spent a long time applying to different Russel Group universities, at the same time I was worrying about graduating with no real life or professional work experience. We all know this is what employers value most highly. In my opinion, an Apprenticeship gives you the best of both worlds, you are earning whilst learning. To me, it’s a no-brainer. Why spend your university life worrying about placements when you can secure an apprenticeship which hands you it? I hope in future colleges and secondary schools promote apprenticeships more and more as it becomes more mainstream.”

“I would recommend finding apprenticeships online, websites like NotGoingToUni and the Government’s National Apprenticeship site, they are amazing resources. This is where I found my apprenticeship along with many of my peers. These sites really help you find the right apprenticeship for you, including assistance with applications and even through to assessment centres. Talk to your careers advisor too if you have one. Big business has listened and now there are Apprenticeships being rolled out across many sectors. Be proactive, reach out to HR representatives in organisations you’re interested in about apprenticeships! Being keen is key. I have loved every day of my apprenticeship because of the amazing opportunities and responsibilities you are given. You’re a valued team member.” For more details, visit



AXA UK celebrates National Apprenticeship Week with multiple vacancies

AXA UK, which is of the view that it will widen its applicant pool by shifting to apprenticeships, has announced a number of vacancies in celebration of National Apprenticeship Week.

The vacancies include data scientist positions in Tunbridge Wells as well as Ipswich-based customer services and claims roles. They are open to both new applicants and existing employees of all ages.

“Here at AXA we strongly believe that one size does not fit all, and that talent comes from a wide range of applicants,” commented Lucinda Charles-Jones, group HR director at AXA UK & Ireland.

“Our decision to move away from traditional graduate schemes to apprenticeships has already proved to be a huge success, and I’m excited to announce that we will be launching dozens more opportunities throughout the year, starting at National Apprenticeship Week.”

As part of some of the apprenticeships, successful applicants will have the opportunity to attain Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) qualifications. In addition, having no any upper age restriction means experienced workers are afforded opportunities for continuous learning.

The insurer said more than 100 apprentices have started at AXA across its UK offices over the past 12 months.


New degree apprenticeships – aimed at meeting the Welsh demand for digital skills – set to launch

 Published: Wednesday, Mar 6th, 2019

A new suite of degree apprenticeship programmes – aimed at meeting the Welsh demand for digital skills – are set to launch this Spring.

The programmes will be delivered on campus in both North and South Wales after Wrexham Glyndwr University and NPTC Group of Colleges were awarded funding under the new degree apprenticeship pilot programme for Wales.

Universities and other degree awarding institutions were asked to design a new suite of digital programmes reflecting the skills needs of Wales, to enable Welsh organisations to upskill their existing employees or recruit new talent in areas such as Software Engineering, Cyber Security and Data Science for the new digital degree apprenticeships framework.

The digital sector is one of the North Wales Economic Ambition Board’s key growth sectors – and the fastest growing sector in North Wales.  The degree apprenticeship programmes acknowledge the drive and need for enhanced technological and digital knowledge within the workforce of North Wales and represent significant investment for the whole of Wales.

Working together, Wrexham Glyndwr University and NPTC Group of Colleges developed two new degree programmes for Applied Software Engineering and Applied Cyber Security Management Pathway, starting in April 2019.

Employer demand has been high for these programmes, ranging from global multi-national companies to local small businesses.

Wrexham Glyndwr University Pro Vice-Chancellor, Dr Aulay Mackenzie said: “This programme reflects the needs of industry in harnessing the power of digital technology to continue to grow the Welsh economy. 

“Wrexham Glyndwr University is delighted to be one of the first universities in Wales, working in partnership with NPTC Group of Colleges, to be awarded this funding and look forward to the programmes starting in April. 

“This represents a significant investment in skills development in the region and a great opportunity for companies to be able to develop the digital capabilities of their workforce up to degree level.”

Richard Tong, Assistant Principal: Higher Education for NPTC Group of Colleges said: “NPTC Group of Colleges are delighted to be able to work with Wrexham Glyndwr University to provide opportunities to local companies in South Wales to further upskill their workforce via government-funded software engineering and cybersecurity degree apprenticeships.”

 Business Development Manager and lead for Apprenticeships at Wrexham Glyndwr University, Christina Blakey said: “We’ve had a significant amount of demand for these limited places but are always keen to hear from other Welsh employers wishing to engage in degree apprenticeships with us or NPTC Group of Colleges.  We expect the demand for these programmes to continue and are already planning to request additional funding for September 2019.”

Any organisation interested in learning more about these programmes contact or



Amazon pledges to create 1,000 UK apprenticeships by 2021

The apprenticeship programme will fill positions across Amazon’s UK operations – from software developers for Prime Video and Alexa’s machine learning technology to warehouse workers at one of the tech giant’s 17 fulfillment centres.

More than 90 of the apprenticeships will be equivalent to Bachelor’s and Master’s degree-level qualifications in software development, engineering, senior leadership and automation.

The roles come in addition to 1,000 highly-skilled jobs the tech giant intends to create in the UK in 2019 as it expands bases in Edinburgh and Cambridge and builds a new research centre in Manchester, expected to open up 600 jobs. 

Amazon currently employs around 27,500 workers in the UK, of which 300 are apprentices, and the e-commerce titan will offer one in every five apprenticeship roles to existing staff.

“We want to give people opportunities to succeed in the digital age, regardless of their background,” Doug Gurr, Amazon’s UK country manager, said.

“Our fully-funded apprenticeship programme, from entry level through to degree level, will provide an exciting path to becoming Amazon’s future team leaders, engineers and innovation drivers.”

Read more: Amazon scraps plans for a second headquarters in New York

Apprentices can expect to earn between £9.50 per hour and £30,000 a year depending on their role, while the apprenticeships will run from 13 months to four years at Amazon‘s London, Edinburgh and Manchester bases.

Amazon is accepting applications from 4 March.

source City AM.


McDonald’s kicks off National Apprenticeship Week with 750 apprenticeships

McDonald’s will today announce more than £2m worth of apprenticeship opportunities for new and current employees in the UK this year, making use of the government’s apprenticeship levy.

The fast food chain plans to create 750 new apprenticeship spaces in the UK. McDonald’s promised last summer that it would employ 43,000 apprentices in Europe by 2025.

The announcement coincides with the beginning of national apprenticeship week, which runs until Friday.

McDonald’s, whose UK apprentices range in age from 16 to 58 years old, has been providing apprenticeships in the UK for 12 years. It said that 80 per cent of its apprenticeships are currently held by people already working for the company.

“We strongly believe in the combination of workplace training and studying with practical experience to help people progress and develop,” said Harriet Hounsell, McDonald’s UK’s chief people officer.

The positions on offer range from entry-level roles to a business management degree apprenticeship with Manchester Met University. Apprentices will be paid a “work-equivalent salary” to the job they are doing, rather than the minimum £3.80 an hour apprentice rate of pay.

 “I am thrilled to see such ambitious plans from McDonald’s,” said Anne Milton, Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships.

“Apprenticeships offer people a high-quality route to skilled employment with the option to train at every level,” she added. “You get paid while you train and can start a great career in a huge range of professions ranging from business to hospitality.”

source City AM


UK’s ‘Top Provider’ Set for National Apprenticeship Week 2019

As National Apprenticeship Week 2019 starts (4-8 March), Leeds College of Building is getting ready to showcase why it is a leader in the field of vocational training.

Named BTEC Apprenticeship Provider of the Year in 2018, Leeds College of Building is pulling out all the stops and hosting an action-packed range of events and activities to educate new employers and the wider community about the benefits of apprenticeships:

Leeds Apprenticeship Recruitment Fair 2019: Leeds College of Building will be attending the annual Fair at the first direct arena, the largest event of its kind in the north of England giving those interested in apprenticeships along with their parents and carers an unrivalled opportunity to meet and speak to some of the UK’s biggest employers and trainers (Monday 4 March, 4-8pm).

Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Launch Event: The College’s Hunslet Campus is holding the launch event for the first ever ICE academic partnership agreement with a further education college (usually reserved for higher education institutions). Six ICE ‘QUEST Scholarships’ will be awarded to top students at Leeds College of Building and Leeds Beckett University (Tuesday 5 March)

Digital Construction Workshop: This unique workshop is a morning of civil engineering, critical thinking, surveying, and exploring digital VR technology in construction. These sessions run in conjunction with BAM Nuttall, the market-leading civil engineering contractor, are aimed at school leavers. Booking essential (Tuesday 5 March, 9.30am – 12.30pm)

Apprenticeship Open Event: The North Street Campus will be open for a special Apprenticeship event showcasing the College in action. This is an opportunity to meet the teams, tour workshops, speak to students, and learn more about the programmes and facilities on offer (Thursday 7 March, 5-7pm)

International Women’s Day Taster Sessions: As the week also marks this national awareness day, Leeds College of Building will be offering FREE taster sessions to any females over 16 who are interested in learning DIY skills or those who are thinking about a career or Apprenticeship in construction. Throughout the week and at various sites, participants can have a go at plumbing, brickwork, painting & decorating and much more (Monday 4 – Friday 8 March)

This year is the 12th annual National Apprenticeship Week, coordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service. It coincides with National Careers Week and International Women’s Day on the Friday.  The theme for #NAW2019 is ‘Blaze A Trail’, highlighting how viable apprenticeships are as an alternative to going to university. Employers and apprentices from across the country will come together to encourage more young people to choose an apprenticeship.

Keith Smith, Apprenticeships Director, Education and Skills Funding Agency said:
“I want the 12th annual National Apprenticeship Week to be the biggest and most successful yet. The theme for this year: Blaze a Trail is at the heart of what apprenticeships are all about.  I really hope our partners feel as excited about it as we do, and, like previous years, they will get fully behind the week.”

Vicky Patterson, Curriculum Manager for Technical and Professional Apprenticeships at Leeds College of Building, said:
“Being chosen by ICE for the first ever UK college academic partnership agreement is a testament to the hard work and dedication of staff at Leeds College of Building. We continually try to go above and beyond our normal duties to enhance the Apprentice’s experiences and ensure that we produce the most creative and brilliant young Technicians and Engineers of the future. We can’t wait to show why we’re the best at what we do!”

For more details about all the events taking place at Leeds College of Building for National Apprenticeship Week 2019, visit: see


Source Builders Merchant Journal


New set of apprenticeship standards launched for farming industry


In a drive to better equip the next generation of workers, industry has joined forces to set standards for Trailblazer Apprenticeships

A new set of apprenticeship standards have been launched to help better equip the next generation of workers in the agricultural industry.

The NFU, along with AHDB and other industry employers, have created criteria for two farming apprenticeships – crop technician and stockperson. A third set of standards for a packhouse line leader is also underway.

The aim is to bring together technical knowledge from a training provider with practical on-the-job learning, to ensure the apprentice is a fully competent employee when they qualify.

And as the new style apprenticeships are industry-led, the standards of competency are set by those doing the recruiting.

One key element of the apprenticeships is the inclusion of ‘Behaviours’ alongside the more traditional ‘Knowledge’ and ‘Skills’ – helping build conducts that can lead workers to be more successful in the future.

Richard Longthorp, who chairs the Agricultural Trailblazer Employer Group, said the new structure to the standards will be ‘hugely beneficial’ to farming industry.

He added: “Trailblazer might not be a word people normally associate with the dry nature of education and skills policy, but with these new Trailblazer Apprenticeships, I genuinely believe we have made a really exciting shift in policy.

“We have gone from a top-down approach with Whitehall ‘Suits’ deciding what apprenticeships should look like, to where we are now – a bottom up approach with industry making the decisions.

“These standards were developed by those at the sharp end in farm business and then taken to representatives from across the industry and its organisations for consultation,” he said.

The apprenticeships are open to all industry businesses and depending on the size of it, the training will either be funded by the apprenticeship levy or by government.

Any Trailblazer Apprenticeship has a minimum duration of 12 months, but some can take up to 30 months, depending on the course level, apprentice and employer.

NFU Deputy President, Guy Smith said: “When you consider the exciting technical advances most of us are seeing on farms, from crop scanning drones to robot milking machines, it’s clear that agriculture is an incredibly innovative and rewarding sector to pursue a career in.

“There has never been a more important time to get involved in an industry that helps to provide the nation with safe, traceable and affordable food.

“Apprenticeships play a huge role in attracting new talent to the farming industry as well as offering farmers a great way to recruit new people and develop their skills, which enables farm businesses to continue to be productive, profitable and progressive,” Mr Smith said.

Source Farming UK


Scottish Graduate apprenticeship target rises to 1,300 places

Fair work Secretary Derek Mackay

A graduate apprenticeship scheme enabling people to study for university-level qualifications while in paid work will expand to more than 1,300 places.

The 800 target for the current financial year was exceeded, and Fair Work Secretary Derek Mackay announced it will rise by 500 for 2019/20.

Skills Development Scotland develops the apprenticeships along with industry, and further and higher education, to enable workers to study up to Master’s degree level.

30,000 Scottish Government target for new apprenticeship starts by 2020

Apprenticeships on offer include subjects such as engineering, business, IT and cyber security – and will expand to include data science this year.

The vast majority of Scotland’s universities offer graduate apprenticeship places, with Aberdeen University a recent recruit.

Mr Mackay said: “Apprenticeships are a vital piece of the jigsaw to improve Scotland’s productivity, benefiting individuals, employers and the wider economy.

“That is why we are investing in more apprenticeship opportunities than ever before, ensuing more people benefit from work-based learning.

“We remain firmly on track to achieve our ambitious target of 30,000 new apprenticeship starts by 2020, with a focus on higher level apprenticeships.

“By increasing the number of Graduate Apprenticeships available for 2019/20 to more than 1,300, more people will have the opportunity to study while they earn and gain first-hand experience of their industry.”

Fair Work Secretary Derek Mackay announced the new target (Jane Barlow/PA)

Skills Development Scotland chief executive Damien Yeates said: “We continues to work with business to increase the number of new apprenticeship jobs through Modern and Graduate opportunities – creating skills that meet their needs.

“Scottish apprenticeships now allow employers to introduce young people to their business while they are still at school and keep them in their workforce until they are degree qualified.”

source Express and Star


Ferrari UK dealerships to host aftersales apprentice open days

Ferrari has announced that all 12 UK dealerships will host aftersales open days for apprentices to showcase opportunities.

Each Ferrari dealer will be inviting students from selected local schools in their area to visit the workshop and learn about Ferrari technology and potential job opportunities in their local dealership.

The Ferrari North Europe apprentice programme is ideal for those who have achieved at least 5 GCSEs and are interested in working at an official Ferrari dealer in one of the following Apprenticeship roles:

Service technician – three year apprenticeship

Service advisor – two year apprenticeship

Parts advisor – two year apprenticeship

Each of these roles includes full-time employment at an official Ferrari dealership, with on-the-job training carried out under the watchful eye of Ferrari master technicians. Ferrari North Europe also provides additional classroom, theory and practical training at the company’s training centre in Berkshire.

Subject to satisfactory completion of the training programme, apprentices are offered full-time roles with their local Ferrari dealership. In fact, the Ferrari North Europe apprenticeship programme has become the de facto route into the brand, with many employees starting out as an apprentice subsequently moving into other roles in the business, such as workshop manager, service manager, or even sales executive.

Candidates wishing to apply for the September 2019 intake should contact their local Ferrari dealer for further details. Candidates can also check for the latest vacancies and register their interest online.

The 12 Ferrari dealerships taking part in this activity are listed below:


Date of Activity

Time of activity

Carrs, Exeter

Saturday 09 March

10:00 – 12:30

Charles Hurst, Belfast

Saturday 02 March

09:00 – 12:00

Dick Lovett, Swindon

Saturday 09 March

10:00 – 13:00

Graypaul, Birmingham

Saturday 09 March

09:30 – 12:00

Graypaul, Edinburgh

Saturday 02 March

10:00 – 14:00

Graypaul, Nottingham

Saturday 09 March

10:00 – 12:00

HR Owen, London

Saturday 09 March

10:00 – 12:00

JCT600, Leeds

Tuesday 05 March

16:00 – 20:00

Lancaster, Colchester

Saturday 09 March

09:00 – 12:00

Meridien Modena, Lyndhurst

Saturday 09 March

10:00 – 13:00

Maranello Sales, Egham

Wednesday  06 March

14:00 – 17:30

Stratstone, Wilmslow

Wednesday  06 March

16:00 – 19:00


Brooksby Melton College to Host Apprenticeships Open Event


In celebration of National Apprenticeships Week, Brooksby Melton College is opening the doors of its Rural Catering Centre for an Apprenticeship Open Event on Tuesday 5th March.

The event, which will be held from 12 – 7pm at the BMC Rural Catering Centre (Melton Mowbray Campus), aims to provide information and guidance for both potential students and employers who are keen to find out more about the many and varied benefits of apprenticeships and work-based learning.

Teaching staff will be available to talk about apprenticeships in a variety of sectors including Agriculture, Animal Care, Catering and Hospitality, Early Years, Construction and Joinery, Equine, Health and Social Care, Horticulture, Land-Based Engineering and Motor Vehicle Engineering. Representatives will also be available to discuss full-time courses, short courses and distance learning.

Elizabeth Briars, current BMC Lecturer and former Level 2 Supporting Teaching student, is keen to promote the value of work-based learning as it helped her to achieve her career ambition: ‘After 15 years of working as a nurse, I chose to leave the profession to care for my family. I then decided to gain employment at my local primary school as a teaching assistant. A friend recommended BMC as a place where I could study my Level 2 in Supporting Teaching and Learning qualification. I was extremely nervous about returning to studying, as it had been a long time since I had written any assignments. However, my BMC Training Officer was fantastic and guided me through the course with lots of support and advice.

After completing the course my responsibilities at the school increased and I found myself looking for a new challenge. When I saw an advert for a role at BMC, I immediately applied for the position as I’d had such a fantastic experience there whilst studying my Level 2 qualification.

After successfully gaining employment as a Training Officer in Distance Learning, I had the opportunity to further my education and embark on a teacher training qualification. I am now completing my PGCE at BMC whilst employed as a Health and Social Care Lecturer, which has allowed me to further my education and enhance my teaching skills. If it hadn’t been for my BMC Training Officer encouraging me through my initial Level 2 course, I would never have reached the position I am in today. I will be forever grateful to her and to BMC for allowing me to achieve my lifelong ambition.’

Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for students to earn while they learn, gain hands-on experience in the workplace and start a rewarding career in an industry that they’re passionate about. For employers, hiring an apprentice could reduce costs whilst supporting growth, increasing productivity and introducing new skills to the workforce.

For more information about the BMC Apprenticeships Open Event, visit



Rolls-Royce Motor Cars announces record number of places available for 2019 Apprenticeship Programme

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has announced that a record number of places are available for the company’s 2019 Apprenticeship Programme. Since the programme was launched in 2006, numbers have progressively increased, with 2019 offering a record 31 candidates the opportunity to join the team at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, West Sussex.

The Programme includes, for the first time, Sir Ralph Robins Degree Apprenticeships. Sir Ralph Robins is a Non Executive Director of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and has had an exceptional career in engineering and industry. The Degree Apprenticeships have been launched in Sir Ralph’s name in recognition of his contribution to the renaissance of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. The Apprentices will study for BEng Mechanical Engineering Degrees at the University of Chichester, attending the University’s new Engineering and Digital Technology Park.

The Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Apprenticeship Programme provides the opportunity to learn and develop skills at the Home of the world’s leading luxury manufacturer. The Apprenticeships last for up to four years and include college and university courses that are nationally recognised, alongside on-the-job training at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said, “I am delighted to announce the start of recruitment for this year’s Apprenticeship Programme and the launch of our first Sir Ralph Robins Degree Apprenticeships. We are firmly committed to developing future talent here at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and I am especially pleased that we will welcome a record number of new apprentices to the business in 2019.”

Gillian Keegan MP, Chichester Constituency, said, “Chichester is proud to be the home of such an iconic global brand as Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and it is fantastic to see the company go from strength to strength. I am delighted that their success has resulted in the opportunity offered to even more local people through the excellent Apprenticeship Programme.”

Wednesday, 13 February 

Source R15



 First airport-owned Shared Apprenticeship Scheme launched to create a stronger UK skills base post-Brexit

Heathrow has launched Britain’s first airport-owned Shared Apprentice Scheme in construction that will help build a stronger base of UK skills and make best use of 10,000 quality apprenticeships by 2030.

Responding to recommendations made by the independent Heathrow Skills Taskforce, chaired by Lord Blunkett, Heathrow’s Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye announced a package of commitments to ensure expansion leaves a national legacy for the airport’s local community and future infrastructure projects.

The move follows an extensive two-year review by the Taskforce who have identified and recommended the best way forward for the airport’s future talent and skills strategy, taking into account other major UK projects in the pipeline.

The introduction of a Shared Apprenticeship Scheme will allow apprentices working at Heathrow to establish a broad range of skills and experience by working with multiple companies based or operating at the airport to complete their apprenticeship. Heathrow has committed to recruiting, training and managing apprentices across a network of companies and suppliers to help people pick and secure an exciting career, not just a job. This strategy has been recommended by the Taskforce to help Heathrow and the wider UK build a stronger home base of skills, essential to the country’s success in a post-Brexit world. Major construction companies including Mace, Balfour Beatty, Morgan Sindall, Dyer & Butler and Ferrovial, along with their respective supply chains, are set to take part.

Going further to ensure these skills are transferrable between jobs and sectors beyond Heathrow expansion, the airport will also trial a new “Skills Passport” that allow apprentices and employees to create a log of their achievements. If successful, Heathrow will look to then work with other major infrastructure employers to ensure this log is compatible with their requirements, and to facilitate the transfer of skills and experience to the other major UK projects. 

Local schools, colleges, ministers and businesses, welcomed these commitments during launch event at the Heathrow Employment and Skills Academy. Other key commitments announced include:

A commitment to provide 10,000 quality work experience days by 2030, including for people with additional learning needs and disabilities;

Offering 1,200 work placement days to local T-level students in construction and digital careers from September 2020.

Speaking at the Heathrow Employment & Skills Academy, Heathrow Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye, said: “The UK’s ability to compete in the future will depend upon the skills people are provided with to help them learn and adapt to new ways of working and changing technologies. Heathrow Expansion is a once in a generation opportunity to help reduce the skills deficit in the UK by providing a bespoke programme that helps people get into a career, not just a job. Heathrow’s new Shared Apprenticeship Scheme and Skills Passport will equip our future colleagues with the skills necessary to fill the tens of thousands of jobs set to be created at Heathrow and other major projects across the UK.”

Lord Blunkett, Chair of the independent Heathrow Skills Taskforce, said: “Britain is staring at a new wave of infrastructure projects with major investments such as Tideway, HS2 and Hinkley Point C on the horizon; together with the enormous private investment in the expansion of Heathrow. But more must be done to ensure the skills required for these projects are accessible and transferrable.

“We are proud to see that Heathrow is taking the Taskforce’s recommendations head-on and are pulling together other major projects, commercial partners and suppliers to secure a new generation of home grown talent with world-class skills that Britain can be proud of.

“I am looking forward to convening a new steering group that will monitor and ensure Heathrow delivers for Britain.”

Aviation Minister, Baroness Sugg, said: “Heathrow’s apprenticeship scheme will benefit thousands of young people, creating a legacy of long-term and high-skilled career opportunities. The airport’s ambition will bring together British based companies and major infrastructure projects to develop a pipeline of talent, which is great news for both the industry and young people.”

These major commitments are Heathrow’s initial response to the Heathrow Skills Taskforce 2018 report, which made several recommendations to the airport on how to deliver a legacy of skills and shape a stronger workforce for Britain’s future.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Source R15


 National Apprenticeship week 4th – 8th March

Highlighting the benefits of apprenticeships to employers, individuals, local communities and the wider economy, the ‘Blaze a Trail’ themed week, running from 4 to 8 March 2019, will see a range of activities and events being hosted across the country, aimed at challenging the outdated views many people still have about apprenticeships.

The week will also highlight the huge number of high quality apprenticeship opportunities available at all levels around the country, in a huge variety of sectors, including aviation engineering, nursing, finance and policing.

Whether you are an employer, apprentice, parent, school or apprenticeship training provider, there are a number of ways to show your support for the week:

Available on GOV.UK, some of the ‘Asks’ include:

asking employers to wear a badge of support by uploading their company logo into a social media template – showing their commitment to and support for NAW 2019 and apprenticeships generally

asking our stakeholders – including parents, schools and apprenticeship training providers – to show their support for apprenticeships on Instagram using a heart shape made of sparks, to convey the vibrancy, passion, and energy of apprentices

asking apprentices to fire up the next wave of apprentices by joining the Young Apprentice Ambassador Network and giving a talk in their old/local school, sharing their experience to inspire others

Keith Smith, Apprenticeships Director, Education and Skills Funding Agency, said:

The resources being made available today will bring the apprenticeship community together, in a series of ‘Asks’ that can be used to create a movement over the course of National Apprenticeship Week 2019 (NAW2019).

The theme of ‘Blaze a Trail’ links to the new national apprenticeship campaign – ‘Fire It Up’ – so many of the resources use the campaign branding and style – ensuring NAW2019 compliments campaign activity, whilst giving apprentices, employers, and stakeholders unique resources to share and use widely during the week.

With less than four weeks to go, I am delighted to see so many events already on our events map. With your help we can make more of a noise about apprenticeships during NAW2019 and using some of these resources – uniting on social channels, in media opportunities and at events – we can really showcase the benefits apprenticeships have on individuals, employers, communities and the wider economy.

Any events taking place during the week can be shared on the Events Map, increasing exposure to the many events taking place during the week. More information is also available on GOV.UK and you can follow @Apprenticeships on Twitter and National Apprenticeship Service on LinkedIn to keep up to date.


Degree Apprenticeships – the paid alternative to University


If you’d rather earn-as-you-learn then go into further education, find an apprenticeship at UK based companies – who not only pay you a salary and offer you full time employment, but the opportunity to gain qualifications, too.

It’s the debt-free way to go to university, it’s the new route into higher education, which combines university study with practical skills gained in the workplace – and the security of a regular salary!

Hers some tips to help you  consider a degree apprenticeship and see if its right for you


  • Your tuition fees are paid

In a Degree Apprenticeship, the company that the apprentice works for uses the Apprenticeship Levy to cover the cost of the tuition, which means you don’t have debt from university tuition fees. Sounds tempting!

  • You’ll get a degree and work experience at the same time

A degree apprenticeship also means you’ll be working and learning at the same time, bringing academic theories together with professional work experience. This gives degree apprentices a rich insight into the modern business world, helping individuals to challenge ideas and form their own opinions.

  • You’ll be paid a salary

Apprentices are treated as full-time employees, which means they receive an annual salary for their work. Whilst the job role is not guaranteed at the end of the apprenticeship, 90% of apprentices stay in work post-apprenticeships (via National Apprenticeship Service). So that’s no tuition fee debt, and a high chance of landing your first job after you finish.

  • You’ll almost definitely be a step ahead of your peers

As well as less debt to pay off and a comparable Bachelor’s degree, degree apprentices will also have three years of work experience under their belts, and are eligible for Chartered Manager status.

Through a Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA) programme, graduates are able to achieve Chartered Manager status – the highest status that can be achieved in the management profession.

  • It’s recognised by employers

According to Pearson Business School‘s education and skills survey, 37.5% of employers believe an aptitude and readiness for work is the most important consideration when recruiting university employers – which means three years of working while you learn is no bad thing. Over three quarters (77.6%) of businesses in London also expect to increase the number of higher-skilled roles in the next five years, highlighting the need for on the job learning with schemes like Degree Apprenticeships.

  • You can take on different levels to suit you

Degree Apprenticeships are a type of Higher Apprenticeship and come in two levels. Level 6, a Degree Apprenticeship (graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree and Chartered Manager Status, if it is a CMDA programme), and Level 7, Senior Leaders Master’s Degree Apprenticeship (graduate with a Master’s Degree and as a member of the Chartered Management Institute).

Pearson Business School offers a range of degree apprenticeships with leading employers and is part of Pearson College London – the UK’s first higher education institution to be founded by a FTSE 100 company, Pearson Plc.



IChemE, Chester Uni and industry join forces on first chemeng apprenticeship

ICHEME, the University of Chester, and major employers in the region are working together to offer the first chemical engineering degree apprenticeship in the UK.

IChemE is working with Chester to ensure that the degree delivered as part of the apprenticeship is accredited. The new Science Industry Process/Plant Engineer degree apprenticeship has been designed in consultation with major employers of chemical engineers in the North West.

Consumer goods giant Unilever is the first employer to offer the apprenticeship. Michael Leary, who joined Unilever working in its Advanced Manufacturing Research and Development (R&D) Centre in Port Sunlight in October 2018, is the first to take part. While working as part of the pilot plant team, he is studying part time at the University of Chester for a BEng degree in Chemical Engineering. Leary, who has straight A grades in Maths, Chemistry and Biology A-levels, is paid by Unilever as a full-time employee during the apprenticeship, and, as with all degree apprenticeships, he does not pay any tuition fees.

He said: “It’s a superb opportunity for me. I’m busy but really happy to be learning in both the university and workplace environment. The principles I get from my university studies are reinforced with real-life experience at Unilever, where I work closely with process development engineers, R&D scientists and pilot plant technicians.”

Steve Wilkinson, Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Chester, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Michael and the other degree apprentices, and it fits perfectly with the Faculty of Science and Engineering’s ethos at Thornton Science Park, where we work hard to ensure that we produce industry-ready graduates.”

Tom Gibbins, AMC and Pilot Plants Manager at Unilever, said: “We’re delighted to have partnered with the University of Chester to offer the UK’s first chemical engineering degree apprenticeship and to be able to support Michael with the first step in his career.” 

Anne Milton, UK Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, welcomed the news: “I am thrilled that the University of Chester and major employers across the region are collaborating to promote STEM subjects and help increase the number of chemical engineers in the North West. Apprenticeships driven by employers rely on the imagination of the FE and HE sector to collaborate and help business and industry get the skills they need. It’s great to see one of the first chemical engineering degree apprenticeships get off the ground.”

Bill Harper, Immediate Past Vice-President Qualifications at IChemE, has spent the last two years working with the university on this particular apprenticeship model. He said: “I look forward to working with the university to move this forward.”

Source TheChemical Engineer


Openreach to recruit a further 3,000 apprentice engineers

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Amber Rudd MP, welcomed news that Openreach, the UK’s digital network business, will hire 3,000 new trainees – of which around 1,600 are newly created roles – over the next 12 months.

The announcement is an extension of Openreach’s largest ever recruitment drive, with 6,500 apprentice engineers being hired over this year and next to support its ‘full fibre’ broadband build plans.

Speaking at the official opening of Openreach’s new training school in Peterborough, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Amber Rudd said: “This is a huge expansion in high skilled, well paying, jobs across the UK and yet another demonstration of the jobs success we have seen since 2010.

”Because behind every employment number is a person and family whose self-esteem, mental wellbeing and economic circumstances and life chances are all vastly improved by being in the workplace.

“And it is also good news that these are some new training roles, developing the skills of our workforce.

“Training and apprenticeships can help create opportunities for women in what are traditionally, male-dominated industries.

“Last year a record number of women moved into work, something reflected in Openreach’s record of hiring more female staff than ever before. It follows on from the good progress we’ve already made with 70,000 women since 2010 starting work as science and engineering professionals.”

Tuesday, 29 January 2019



BMW Group seeks new talent to join 2019 apprenticeship scheme

Young people with a passion for a career in the automotive industry are being encouraged to apply for an apprenticeship place at BMW Group’s manufacturing operations across the UK.

The news comes at an important and exciting time for BMW Group, as it leads the way in the electro-mobility sphere and gears up for the debut of the first fully electric MINI later this year.

More than 40 places are available to start in August 2019 at the company’s Oxford, Swindon and Hams Hall sites, in a wide-range of roles including maintenance, engineering, IT and business.

Apprenticeships last between three and four years and cover a wide range of areas to help equip young people with the skills needed for a successful career in the automotive sector. 

Simon Farrall, Head of Apprentice and Associate Training for BMW Group UK, said: “An apprenticeship is a great way to start a career in the automotive industry during a new and exciting era of electro-mobility. We see apprentices as the future leaders of our business and many of our most experienced people started out this way. If you have a passion to solve problems, like working in a team and can rise to a challenge, then we want to hear from you.” 

As part of BMW Group’s commitment to attracting more young females into engineering, applications are also now open for the ‘Girls Go Technical’ programme, which will run during the Easter holidays. This programme, which gives a fascinating insight into BMW Group’s three UK production sites, is aimed at females aged between 15 to 24 who are considering a technical apprenticeship in manufacturing.

source Ri5


UCAS: supporting students with all their options

Last week saw the deadline for this year’s prospective students to submit their university or college applications, with many choosing higher or degree apprenticeships as an option.

UCAS is already supporting 2020’s students, whatever their destination, and apprenticeships are high on the agenda.

UCAS has made a commitment to raising students’ awareness of all education and progression routes.  At their larger exhibitions, which are at the start of the journey for thousands of students, they now have dedicated apprenticeship areas.

Almost a third of students considering an undergraduate course told UCAS they are also looking at apprenticeships. At their flagship events in Manchester, London, Bristol, and Birmingham, visited by over 40,000 prospective students, they’ve made this a real focus. In past years, they’ve been able to give exhibitors like Rolls Royce, Google, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Novus Trust, and Ernst and Young, the perfect opportunity to speak to students, face-to-face, at network exhibitions across the country.

Sander Kristel, Executive Director of UCAS Media says: ’We recognise that apprenticeships are a real option for students, and, while many in business might not realise, UCAS provides information and advice on both routes. By giving students a real opportunity to compare the benefits at our exhibitions – and invaluable face-to-face contact – we’re able to ensure they are fully informed, and in control of their future.’

For more information, please visit the UCAS website

Source Ri5


City & Guilds Group urges Government to remove barriers to employer investment in apprenticeships

According to new research published by City & Guilds Group, an overwhelming 92% of levy-paying employers want to see greater flexibility in how they can spend their apprenticeship allowance. The findings are a stark reminder that the Government has a long way to go to create an environment in which businesses can really benefit from increased investment in skills development, with no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for apprenticeships.

As we wait to hear from the Government on a date for the employer consultation on apprenticeships announced in October, City & Guilds Group surveyed 765 levy-paying businesses in England for their take on the current system. The research reveals that while, encouragingly, businesses are keen to make the best use of their levy, the rigidity of the current system is holding many back.

If employers had greater freedom with how to spend their levy funds, 55% say they’d like to continue to spend on apprenticeships, while 45% would like to be able to use money to invest in non-apprenticeship training – including professional courses and technical skills training (36%); health, safety and compliance training (33%); work placements and internships (32%); and leadership and management training (31%).

Kirstie Donnelly MBE, Managing Director, City & Guilds Group, comments: “The turmoil we are facing, as a result of uncertainty around Brexit as well as the rapidly changing world we live in, means that it’s never been more urgent to improve the skills of our workforce and invest in home-growing the skills that we may no longer be able to import from abroad. Apprenticeships have a huge potential to deliver on this, but the system is still not responsive enough to the needs of employers. Businesses need more flexibility to use the apprenticeship levy in a way that will truly help them fill skills gaps, upskill their workforce and shore up their talent pipeline for the future.

“But, flexibility alone isn’t enough. The Government must provide greater clarity on apprenticeship data in order to equip the industry with the holistic view it needs and enable employers to understand its wider impact. Although we welcome the Government’s commitment to introduce reforms, they are yet to set this in motion. We have set out a list of twelve recommendations, eleven of which are for the Government to act on, as we urge them to prioritise apprenticeships, maintain momentum and make better use of data to help all those involved to create the skilled and productive workforce we so desperately need.”

When asked about the challenges that prevent them from investing in apprenticeships, almost all (93%) employers cite some form of barrier. The list includes a lack of: suitable apprentices in the area (31%), availability of necessary training (30%), information and support (22%), and buy-in from the board (22%); as well as 20% off the job training being unsuitable for the business (29%).

Promisingly, the Government has introduced some new freedoms to flex spend in the last year, including increasing the level of levy funds which can be transferred to other businesses in a supply chain from 10% to 25%, from April 2019. But City & Guilds Group’s research found that this still isn’t enough: if levy-paying employers could invest as much as they liked within their supply chain, they would transfer an average of 35%, meaning current plans for increased flexibility still won’t meet employers’ needs.

Amid calls for increased options when it comes to using the apprenticeship levy, the research also reveals the scale of disengagement with the levy, as 95% of employers failed to spend the entirety of their apprenticeship budget in the first 12 months of the new system and businesses say that they only expect to spend an average of 56% of their allotted funds annually in the future. Without transparent reporting of apprenticeship spend, however, industry bodies, training providers and employers are left in the dark about the true extent to which employers have taken up apprenticeships, and where any leftover money will end up.

City & Guilds Group’s full list of recommendations and detailed research findings can be found in the Flex for success? report here.

Video interviews with UK learning and development leaders from a handful of businesses which engage with apprenticeships can be seen here

Source Ri5


New Apprenticeship Campaign ‘Fire It Up’ launches


Leading employers have woken up to the benefits apprenticeships bring to their workplaces, Education Secretary Damian Hinds said yesterday, with top firms including Marks & Spencer and Lloyds Banking Group taking on thousands of apprentices on the Government’s new, higher quality apprenticeship programmes.

At a time when many young people will be considering their futures, the Education Secretary wants parents, schools and colleges to make sure apprenticeships are being promoted alongside more traditional academic routes.

The Government is launching a new campaign to promote apprenticeships among young people, parents and employers, whilst confirming that it will write to the largest school trusts who have not published information on their website about how they will ensure providers of vocational education are able talk to pupils in their schools.

As the Prime Minister said in PMQs this week, it is important that young people are able to see that there are different routes for them for their futures, different routes into the workplace – and apprenticeships are an important route for some young people. The Government is also writing to local authorities to remind schools about the requirement to do this to make sure pupils have the full range of information about different career paths that are open to them.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said “We are seeing the apprenticeship system in this country come of age, with leading employers waking up to the benefits apprenticeships can bring.

“The sad truth is that outdated and snobby attitudes are still putting people off apprenticeships which means they’re missing out on great jobs and higher salaries – many of them in the sorts of firms graduates look to land jobs with after university.

“It’s vital that we challenge people’s thinking about apprenticeships which is why the Government’s new ‘Fire It Up’ campaign will aim to shift deeply held views and drive more people towards an apprenticeship.

“At the same time we need to make sure that young people have access to information about all of the opportunities that are out there so we are taking action to make sure all schools invite a wide range of providers in to help young people choose the right career path for them.”

Anyone considering an apprenticeship can be reassured that it offers high-quality training and a range of exciting career options. The new apprenticeships known as ‘standards’ have been developed in collaboration with leading firms to ensure they provide people with the skills and knowledge that they are looking for in job hunters. There is a huge range of apprenticeships to choose from including aerospace engineering, nuclear science, teaching, nursing, digital marketing, fashion and law, with the opportunity to study right up to degree level. Apprentices will earn while they learn and can expect to receive around 700 training hours on average – up from 560 hours the year before.

The Department for Education has launched its new ‘Fire it Up’ campaign to help raise awareness of the huge variety of apprenticeship options available for people of all ages and backgrounds.

The new campaign includes national TV and social media adverts, and a new website that provides helpful advice and information as well as access to thousands of apprenticeship opportunities across the country.

To make sure young people can hear about and understand all the options available to them, like doing an apprenticeship or going to a further education college, the Government backed the Baker Clause in January 2017. The clause stipulates schools must invite a wide range of education and training providers in to help young people choose the right career path for them. Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton is writing to the 10 largest Multi Academy Trusts currently not complying with the clause to remind them of their legal duty and if there is evidence that a school is not providing their students with a full range of information, the Government will take appropriate action.

Through its nationwide Enterprise Adviser Network, The Careers & Enterprise Company is also working with schools and colleges to promote technical options and apprenticeships as well giving young people more experience of the world of work.

The Government is already taking action to transform technical and vocational education in this country. This includes working with employers to overhaul the apprenticeship system so that it delivers higher quality, more flexible apprenticeships that cover a wider range of sectors and professions and introducing new, gold standard T Levels from 2020 – the technical equivalent to A Levels.

In December last year, Mr Hinds set out his 10 year ambition to get more people into skilled jobs that command higher wages and help put Britain’s technical education system on a par with the best in the world. This includes:

A new generation of Higher Technical Qualifications – an alternative to a university degree to help more people get on in their careers and so employers can access the skills they need. These qualifications at ‘Level 4 and 5’ – like Diplomas of Higher Education and Foundation Degrees – sit in between A Levels and a degree in subjects like engineering and digital. The kind of training that helps someone step up from being a healthcare support worker to a nursing associate or a bricklayer to a construction site supervisor.

Reforming the pupil destination measure – the information published in school and college performance tables about what higher study or training pupils go on to do after they leave – to create one measure that shows how many young people are doing higher training of any type. The new destination measure will show separately how many young people go on to study degrees, higher technical apprenticeships or Higher Technical Qualifications like a Higher National Diploma.

Matching skills to jobs – new guidance and a package of support for Skills Advisory Panels – local partnerships between public and private sector employers, local authorities, colleges and universities – to assess what skills are needed in their local area.

Source Ri5


Promising news on the job front for graduates

For the first time in nine years, ‘The Graduate Market in 2019’ – a major report produced by leading independent market research company High Fliers Research – suggests that the UK’s top employers are increasing their graduate vacancies by 9.1%. This will be welcome news for many.

And there’s more, with four-fifths of the country’s top graduate employers offering paid internships and other paid work experience during the 2018-19 period. A total of 13,098 places. This will no doubt be well-received as debate continues around the social mobility of unpaid internships and work experience.

Martin Birchall, author of The Graduate Market in 2019 report and Managing Director of High Fliers Research, said, “Our latest research shows that despite all the continuing uncertainty over Brexit, the UK’s top employers are planning to recruit a record number of new graduates in 2019. The graduate job market dipped two years ago in the aftermath of the vote to leave the EU but recovered well in 2018. The growth in graduate vacancies for 2019 is the highest for nine years and there are more opportunities than ever before for university undergraduates to do paid work experience with the country’s leading employers.”

To find out more and read the full report, please click here

Source Ri5


Graduate programme launched by PepsiCo

PepsiCo is launching its “Dare To Do More” global student challenge in its Europe Sub-Saharan Africa (ESSA) sector, calling on graduates from across the region to harness their entrepreneurial skills and identify the next big trend in foods and beverages.

The highly competitive initiative, lasting 12 weeks, is seeking undergraduates with a passion for business to identify what they believe will be the next food or drink sensation. Applicants are tasked with creating their own unique food or drink product, or developing an existing PepsiCo product, pitching it to PepsiCo leaders, and explaining how they would take this to market.

Candidates that reach the final stage of the student challenge will be given the opportunity to interview and land a spot on one of PepsiCo’s market-leading “PepsiCo Go” graduate programmes within Europe. Candidates will also go head-to-head and compete for the grand prize of a trip to New York, where theyll meet other winners from across the globe and get the opportunity to present their idea to PepsiCo’s global leadership team.

The programme will be available across eight markets: the U.K., Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Serbia, Poland, France and Turkey. The successful graduates will have the opportunity to work with colleagues from all over the world on some of the biggest and best FMCG brands on the planet.

Becky Taylor, senior director Digital, Europe Sub-Saharan Africa, PepsiCo said: “The “Dare To Do More” challenge is an exciting platform for graduates to not only put forward their own business proposals, but also kick-start their career by joining our PepsiCo Go graduate programmes.

“We’re in our third year of running a graduate challenge, and as a result we’re expecting the competition and ideas to be the boldest yet. If you think you’ve got the next big idea in food and drink and want to work in an exciting and vibrant company, we want to hear from you.”

Tim Warner, ‎vice president Insights & Analytics, Europe Sub-Saharan Africa and Global Innovation Insights Practice, ‎PepsiCo said: “Our Digital and Insights teams play a critical role in shaping the products of the future and how we take them to global markets. Successful graduates who join our “PepsiCo Go” programme will be front and centre of making critical decisions that will shape our brands; building innovation, advertising and go-to market strategies.

At PepsiCo, we’re always on the lookout for the best talent and the “Dare To Do More” challenge is the perfect way to identify the brightest, entrepreneurial graduate minds.”

Paul Campbell, senior vice president Supply Chain, Europe Sub-Saharan Africa, PepsiCo said: “The “Dare To Do More” challenge is a fantastic way for future talent to engage with us at PepsiCo. Supply Chain is on the verge of a massively transformational stage of its evolution, with the advent of eCommerce and new ways for consumers to connect with suppliers. Across our Supply Chain, we are looking for people with real curiosity to understand how things work today and really challenge whether we are set up for the future. We are bringing state-of-the-art technology and thinking to our manufacturing and distribution operations. Joining our “PepsiCo Go” programme is a great opportunity for graduates to influence the future direction we take.”

How “Dare to Do More” works:

Stage one: PepsiCo University

The first stage gives candidates the opportunity to get an insider’s view into life at PepsiCo. Through a virtual learning experience, graduates can discover more about the company and organize online webinars with both leaders and former “PepsiCo Go” graduates. Candidates can register here at: daretodomore,

Stage two: Submit ideas

The second online stage calls for graduates to submit their business case for what they think the next big food or beverage trend will be and why, and how it can be taken to market. This can be through the creation of a new product, or by adapting one of PepsiCo’s current lines.

Stage three: Mentors help further develop the finest ideas for the final

The best business minds from the second round will secure a place in the final and will get the opportunity to present their ideas to a panel of PepsiCo market experts. All finalists will work alongside an experienced PepsiCo mentor to prepare for the final and will be given the opportunity to interview for a position on PepsiCo’s competitive graduate programme, either within the Digital, Insights or Supply Chain team.

Source Ri5


BAE Systems to recruit 700 apprentices in 2019

During 2019, BAE Systems plan to recruit nearly 700 apprentices across their UK business, a 30% increase on last year

The new recruits will join the Air, Land and Maritime businesses in September 2019 and will embark on one of 25 training programmes, which provide the opportunity to combine full time employment with studying for a recognised qualification.

The Air sector is recruiting almost half of the company’s UK apprentices at its sites in Samlesbury and Warton, where they will have the opportunity to work on a unique range of exciting projects including Typhoon, F-35 – the world’s largest defence programme – and play a key role in developing emerging technologies for future combat air systems, supporting the UK’s world-leading combat air capability for decades to come.

Prime Minister, Theresa May, said: “I’m delighted that BAE Systems is taking on even more apprentices in 2019, with 700 young people being given the opportunity to kick-start their careers in this world-class firm.

“Britain’s businesses have a hugely important role to play in training the next generation and themselves benefit by attracting diverse talent and improving their skills base. Through our modern Industrial Strategy we will encourage even more partnerships to create high-quality jobs across the UK.”

Charles Woodburn, Chief Executive Officer at BAE Systems, said: “We are proud to be one of the UK’s largest employers of apprentices and our plan to recruit nearly 700 apprentices next year reflects our ongoing commitment to nurturing talent and developing high end skills for the future.

“With technology becoming ever more advanced and integrated in the workplace, it is crucial that we train the next generation of engineers and business leaders to develop the necessary skills which will be needed to drive innovation, solve complex challenges and build on our position as one of the UK’s most innovative and productive companies.”

BAE Systems invests approximately £90m per year in education, skills and early careers activities in the UK and has around 2,000 apprentices in training across its UK businesses at any given time, with circa 95% securing permanent roles each year.

The majority of BAE Systems’  apprentices train for engineering related roles and undergo a three to four-year training programme, with many progressing to study Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. The business also offers direct entry onto new degree apprenticeships.

BAE Systems was recently named #1 employer of apprentices in the UK on review website Rate My Apprenticeship and won the Macro Employer of the Year Award and the Recruitment Excellence Award at the 2018 National Apprenticeship Awards, recognising the business’ dedication to delivering high-quality apprenticeships.

Source Ri5


City & Guilds Group urges Government to remove barriers to employer investment in apprenticeships

According to new research published by City & Guilds Group, an overwhelming 92% of levy-paying employers want to see greater flexibility in how they can spend their apprenticeship allowance. The findings are a stark reminder that the Government has a long way to go to create an environment in which businesses can really benefit from increased investment in skills development, with no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for apprenticeships.

As we wait to hear from the Government on a date for the employer consultation on apprenticeships announced in October, City & Guilds Group surveyed 765 levy-paying businesses in England for their take on the current system. The research reveals that while, encouragingly, businesses are keen to make the best use of their levy, the rigidity of the current system is holding many back.

If employers had greater freedom with how to spend their levy funds, 55% say they’d like to continue to spend on apprenticeships, while 45% would like to be able to use money to invest in non-apprenticeship training – including professional courses and technical skills training (36%); health, safety and compliance training (33%); work placements and internships (32%); and leadership and management training (31%).

Kirstie Donnelly MBE, Managing Director, City & Guilds Group, comments: “The turmoil we are facing, as a result of uncertainty around Brexit as well as the rapidly changing world we live in, means that it’s never been more urgent to improve the skills of our workforce and invest in home-growing the skills that we may no longer be able to import from abroad. Apprenticeships have a huge potential to deliver on this, but the system is still not responsive enough to the needs of employers. Businesses need more flexibility to use the apprenticeship levy in a way that will truly help them fill skills gaps, upskill their workforce and shore up their talent pipeline for the future.

“But, flexibility alone isn’t enough. The Government must provide greater clarity on apprenticeship data in order to equip the industry with the holistic view it needs and enable employers to understand its wider impact. Although we welcome the Government’s commitment to introduce reforms, they are yet to set this in motion. We have set out a list of twelve recommendations, eleven of which are for the Government to act on, as we urge them to prioritise apprenticeships, maintain momentum and make better use of data to help all those involved to create the skilled and productive workforce we so desperately need.”

When asked about the challenges that prevent them from investing in apprenticeships, almost all (93%) employers cite some form of barrier. The list includes a lack of: suitable apprentices in the area (31%), availability of necessary training (30%), information and support (22%), and buy-in from the board (22%); as well as 20% off the job training being unsuitable for the business (29%).

Promisingly, the Government has introduced some new freedoms to flex spend in the last year, including increasing the level of levy funds which can be transferred to other businesses in a supply chain from 10% to 25%, from April 2019. But City & Guilds Group’s research found that this still isn’t enough: if levy-paying employers could invest as much as they liked within their supply chain, they would transfer an average of 35%, meaning current plans for increased flexibility still won’t meet employers’ needs.

Amid calls for increased options when it comes to using the apprenticeship levy, the research also reveals the scale of disengagement with the levy, as 95% of employers failed to spend the entirety of their apprenticeship budget in the first 12 months of the new system and businesses say that they only expect to spend an average of 56% of their allotted funds annually in the future. Without transparent reporting of apprenticeship spend, however, industry bodies, training providers and employers are left in the dark about the true extent to which employers have taken up apprenticeships, and where any leftover money will end up.

City & Guilds Group’s full list of recommendations and detailed research findings can be found in the Flex for success? report here.

Video interviews with UK learning and development leaders from a handful of businesses which engage with apprenticeships can be seen here

Source Ri5



The National Apprenticeship Awards 2018 winners are announced

Now in its fifteenth year, the awards are the largest and most prestigious celebration of apprentices and apprentice employers across the country.

The ‘Excellence in Apprenticeships’ themed Awards ceremony showcased individual and employer success stories, recognising apprenticeships as a fast-track to a great career and enabler of business growth.

A Special Recognition Award was presented for the first time and was won by The Armed Forces – The Royal Air Force; Royal Navy and The British Army – for their commitment to apprenticeships. All three services have been recognised as Outstanding by OfSTED and combined, are the largest apprenticeship employer in England.

Damian Hinds, Education Secretary said: “Apprenticeships are an excellent way for anyone to gain new skills and forge a career in anything from aerospace engineering to nursing. The National Apprenticeship Awards is a fantastic event to celebrate the achievements of apprentices, employers and training providers, and I want to wish all the winners and nominees congratulations on their incredible efforts.”

This year’s awards also saw the launch of the new ‘Rising Star’ category. This category showcased the apprentices who have made impressive progress in their careers to date and have the potential to go even further in their chosen profession.

Winning the Rising Star award was intermediate Retail and Enterprise apprentice Joe Buck from the North West. Joe is employed by Mitchells and Butlers and currently works in Toby Carvery as Duty Manager. Joe has won the first ever ‘Rising Star’ award after being recognised for the exceptional progress he has shown in his role. Joe’s work was recognised as exceptional by a panel of judges and through a public vote where over 7000 people voted for their ‘Rising Star.’

Lauren Carroll, Vocational Learning Attraction Manager at Mitchells and Butlers said: “As one of the first apprentices recruited by Mitchells and Butlers, Joe truly is a shining example of what his employer was aiming to achieve through recruiting apprentices. Joe has gone above and beyond his expected role at Toby Carvery, becoming an expert in both the kitchen and front of house, providing the business strong pipeline for management roles both sides of the pass.”

Anne Milton, Apprenticeships and Skills Minister said: “A huge well done to all the winners, finalists and rising stars! I have met so many apprentices up and down the country and all of them stars in their own right. Their passion for what they do, their determination to get things done and their drive to get on is so impressive. The winners tonight will have stepped out of their comfort zone to learn new skills and many will have changed the direction of their life. Congratulations to them all and they should be very proud of all they have achieved.”

Keith Smith, Director, Apprenticeships, Education and Skills Funding Agency added: “The National Apprenticeship Awards ceremony is a great opportunity to celebrate individuals and employers who go above and beyond to champion apprenticeships.

“This year we introduced the ‘Rising Star’ category which celebrates the individuals who have made impressive progress to their careers to date. Voted for by the public, these are the rising stars of English business and I wish them well for the future.

“I want to congratulate everyone that was a part of this year’s awards. All of the winners stories demonstrate that apprenticeships change lives, lead to rewarding jobs, and transform businesses for the better.”

This year’s national apprentice winners:

The Lloyds Banking Group Award for the Rising Star: Joe Buck, Mitchells & Butlers

The British Army Award for Intermediate Apprentice of the Year: Muhammad Uddin, Yorkshire Housing

The Rolls Royce Award for Advanced Apprentice of the Year: Daniel Millington, HydraForce Hydraulics Ltd

The Nuclear Decommissioning Site Licence Companies Award for Higher or Degree Apprentice of the Year: Jordan Coulton, Weightmans LLP

Royal Air Force Award for Apprenticeship Champion of the Year: Natalie White, National Nuclear Laboratory

And 2 highly commended in each category

The Lloyds Banking Group Award for the Rising Star: Jenny Jones, HM Revenue and Customs and Aleksandra Burzec, Home Group

The British Army Award for Intermediate Apprentice of the Year: Amelia Wayne, Futures Housing Group and Bethany Geddes, The Automobile Association

The Rolls Royce Award for Advanced Apprentice of the Year: Muhammad Khan, BT and Lucas Benson, BAE Systems Ltd

The Nuclear Decommissioning Site Licence Companies Award for Higher or Degree Apprentice of the Year: Joe Powell, HM Revenue & Customs and Michelle Blackwell, Bevan Brittan LLP

Royal Air Force Award for Apprenticeship Champion of the Year: David Thompson, NETA Training Group and Susan Gough, Lloyds Banking Group

This year’s national employer winners

The PeoplePlus Award for Recruitment Excellence: selected from the Employer of the Year award entries: BAE Systems plc

The BAE Systems Award for SME Employer of the Year (for organisations with 1 to 249 employees): Troup Bywaters + Anders

The Royal Navy Award for Large Employer of the Year (for organisations with 250 to 4,999 employees): KMF Precision Sheet Metal Limited

The Centrica Award for Macro Employer of the Year (for organisations with 5,000+ employees): BAE Systems plc

And 2 highly commended in each category

The PeoplePlus Award for Recruitment Excellence: selected from the Employer of the Year award entries: KMF Precision Sheet Metal Limited, Lloyds Banking Group

The BAE Systems Award for SME Employer of the Year (for organisations with 1 to 249 employees): Invotra, GoSkydive

The Royal Navy Award for Large Employer of the Year (for organisations with 250 to 4,999 employees): United Kingdom Hydrographic Office, WEC Group Limited

The Centrica Award for Macro Employer of the Year (for organisations with 5,000+ employees): Engie, Lookers plc


Source R15