Our thoughts on National Apprenticeship Week

Our Senior Civil Engineer Beth Sherburn shares her thoughts on National Apprenticeship Week 2020 – challenging the utilization of Apprentices within the construction industry.

There were over 1250 events during National Apprenticeship week in 2019; with 2020 ramping up to have even more engagement among organisations across the nation. What role will you play?

Employing the themes set out on the National Apprenticeship website, and these simple yet effective taglines, I challenge you to consider at least one of the following, and how this applies within your organisation/industry:

Look Beyond

Consider and celebrate the diversity and value that apprenticeships bring to employers and communities, specifically within your own organisation.

Let’s come together and Look beyond the outdated stereotypes surrounding apprenticeships. By demonstrating the value apprentices bring to our teams, we can begin to pave the way and encourage other businesses to invest. Dispelling misconceptions in the process.

Look beyond traditional hiring routes, bolster your team at a junior level and create an environment within the workplace that encourages continued development and workplace learning.

Making Impact

Share your success stories, the careers that have blossomed as a result of employing a more vocational pathway. Showcase them.

Apprentices have the potential to bring value from day one when effectively engaged within workplace activities, however this isn’t always put into practice, which can leave employees feeling deterred and undervalued. the ‘making tea culture may be changing, but it certainly hasn’t disappeared entirely.

Consider the role you play in developing apprentices within your organisation, do you have an individual approach to the teaching/learning dynamic or is it a one size fits all? Are you a manager, a mentor or a leader – and how does your approach change in response to individual learning requirements?

Encourage apprentices to celebrate their career achievements so far. Create an open forum to discuss individual successes and triumphs, to recognise the impact apprentices have within your organisation, empower apprentices themselves to recognise the value of their own contributions.

Making Progress

Share your story. National Apprenticeship Week isn’t just about our current and future apprentices, it’s also about those who have completed apprenticeships and continue to develop; authentic examples of how apprenticeships can lead to long term career opportunities.

Many young people still believe that apprenticeships can pigeonhole them into a career or limit their options, which simply isn’t the case – or shouldn’t be. By sharing success stories we can help to dispel outdated beliefs once and for all.

We all have a part to play in National Apprenticeship week – what will yours be?

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