March is here, and so too is National Apprenticeship Week. The 5-day nationwide event celebrates and promotes all that’s great about apprenticeship training with hundreds of national and local events.
It’s the perfect opportunity for training providers, learners and employers to come together to learn more about the opportunities available for staff development and expanding their workforce. Read on as we take a closer look at National Apprenticeship Week 2018.
What is National Apprenticeship Week?
Now in its 11th year, National Apprenticeship Week has become a calendar highlight for the recruitment and training sectors. Why? It’s an opportunity to celebrate the success of apprenticeships, encourage even more people to choose apprenticeships as a pathway to a great career, as well as promoting their benefits to employers, individuals, communities and the wider economy. It’s understandable then, that its reach stretches far beyond recruitment divisions alone.
Running from the 5th to the 9th March, National Apprenticeship Week 2018 is based around the theme ‘Apprenticeships Work’. And they do. They have been proven to work for trainees and work for businesses. That’s why apprenticeships have become such a popular choice in recent years, with a record high 491,300 starts in 2016/17. So, how can you get involved this week?
Social media has made it easier to follow your favourite celebrities, get involved in political debate and educate yourself on a variety of topics. So, it’s only right that it makes it easier to get involved in National Apprenticeship Week too.
The hashtag #NAW2018 is being used to promote and support the event, with two more hashtags dedicated to landmark the events. Business, organisations, communities and individuals are encouraged to use #WorksForMe to share their personal stories of how apprenticeships have helped them. They recognise that real voices are the most powerful tool to illustrate the value of apprenticeships and want to use those voices to prove that ‘Apprenticeships Work’. These soundbites are now being shown across social media and the National Apprenticeship Week website.
With #10kTalks, the government wants as many businesses, training providers and learners to share their success stories, aiming to inspire more people to harness the power of apprenticeships. Across the country, schools have signed up to invite passionate current and former apprentices to talk to their students about their experience. Similarly, apprentices and former apprentices are joining the #10kTalks movement to share their own success stories with the next generation of talent in local businesses. The aim is to reach the grand total of 10,000 talks given by the end of the week-long event.
Want to attend one of these events? You can use the NAW events map to find events near you, including:
- 10k talks
- Apprenticeship information sessions
- Careers job fairs
- Employer networking events
The importance of training
Some people might be wondering what all the fuss is about. With other training options available, what can you expect from this form of programme?
In short, it’s the versatility on offer. While some more commonly accessed training routes are restricted and exclusive, apprenticeship level programmes are open to people from any age, background or career level. Clearly, this benefits individuals who are free to train and gain qualifications. But it also helps businesses, as they can be much more flexible with their training.
Not convinced? Here are some of the other key benefits of apprenticeship level training:
- For individuals:
- ‘Hands-on’ training in a real working environment
- Industry experience at an earlier stage in your career
- Earn while you learn with no student debt
- A massive choice of course, training and qualification type
- Varied learning experience with less time spent at a desk studying
- For businesses:
- Tailored training for employees in your industry
- Increased staff loyalty and retention reducing recruitment costs
- Improved productivity with apprentices contributing as they learn
- A variety of training types and levels on offer – with degree apprenticeships launched in 2015.
Now is the time
After the Apprenticeship Levy came into force at the start of the 2017/18 tax year, now is a better time than ever for businesses to take advantage of apprenticeships and training programmes. Employers with a payroll over £3m must pay a levy of 0.5% their annual pay bill. This is then made available as credits, with 2 years to spend them on apprenticeship-based training – either hiring new apprentices or upskilling existing workers.
With the help of the Levy, training and development programmes have become easier and more accessible than ever before. Although levels of apprenticeships have dropped since the introduction of the Levy last April, we can see real, tangible benefits and it has promising future.
Contrary to belief, anyone can begin apprenticeship level training at any point in their life, regardless of their career level. Businesses can use their Levy funds to train existing employees, so long as the qualification they are taking is relevant to their role and the most appropriate way of progressing or developing their career.
Bis Henderson Academy are dedicated to closing the skills gap in logistics and supply chain, and believe that events such as National Apprenticeship Week are a great way of not only raising awareness of the Apprenticeship Levy and its benefits, but getting individuals excited about the prospect of developing in the logistics sector. At Bis Henderson Academy, we work with businesses to utilise their credits to the greatest effect, supporting them through every step of the planning process. By understanding your requirements and reviewing existing development programmes, we help you optimise the value of your Levy funds. Feel free to contact our team for a more in-depth chat about the Apprenticeship Levy and how it can help you and your current staff.