Building Back Better With Apprenticeships

Apprenticeship week

8 February saw the start of National Apprenticeship Week - with the government reminding employers they can get a £2,000 for each apprentice they take on. And a £1,000 bonus at this time for trainees.

National Apprenticeship Week 2021 saw a celebration of the apprentices and employers that have gone above and beyond during the pandemic.

To support employers to take on more apprentices the government is offering up to £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire. Almost nineteen thousand applications have been submitted by employers. The cash boost is available until March 2021, so businesses can create even more opportunities and give more people the life changing chance to start a great career.

Employers can also now apply for a £1000 cash boost to help them take on new trainees.


The week

To kick off the week, the government focused on apprentices from all walks of life that have been working on the pandemic front line. Many have played a key role in supporting the country throughout the pandemic, including on the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine that is helping the country overcome the virus. Emilia Reyes Pabon, an apprentice Technician Scientist at the University of Oxford, worked on the UK’s first Covid-19 vaccine to enter clinical trials. Advanced Engineering Apprentices Jack Day, Christopher Robinson and Christopher Young, at the Science and Technology Facilities Council, helped in the national effort to produce 20 years’ worth of mechanical ventilators in just 12 weeks.

Elsewhere, Ethan Brennan has worked during the pandemic on a respiratory ward, carrying out daily healthcare duties. As with all apprentices he was offered the opportunity to move to a more low risk area but declined as he wanted to remain in his original placement to care for the elderly patients and support the team.


Plan for Jobs

Apprenticeships and traineeships play a vital role in making sure people have the skills they need to get a well-paid job. They play a key part in the government’s Plan for Jobs, designed to protect, support and create jobs for all ages as we build back better from the pandemic.

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Gillian Keegan said: "Coronavirus has had a huge impact on lives and livelihoods. As we build back better from the pandemic, we need to make sure people are able to take advantage of the opportunities apprenticeships provide.

“Whether it’s the benefits to the individual – the chance to earn while you learn, opening up new career paths that can transform lives. Or the benefits to business giving access new talent from all backgrounds.

"This National Apprenticeship Week we should celebrate the apprentices up and down the country who have been stepping up throughout the pandemic to support the national effort. I am calling on everyone to get involved in to raise awareness of all the fantastic opportunities that are out there and share their inspiring stories."

The highly successful traineeship programme has already helped nearly 120,000 young people get on the path to a great career since 2013. Recent figures show that 66% of trainees get a job, take up an apprenticeship or go on to further study within 6 months of completing their programme.

The programmes last between 6 weeks and 12 months, and focus on developing vital employability skills, alongside additional English, maths and digital skills, combined with a work placement lasting a minimum of 70 hours.


Construction Industry Training Board

Steve Radley, Director of Strategy and Policy at CITB said: "Getting more college students into construction jobs is a big challenge which the new Construction Traineeship should make a lot easier by providing a springboard for learners to start work or an apprenticeship. With job opportunities currently growing faster in construction than in many other industries, this is the right time for industry, government, colleges and CITB to work together on practical solutions to bridge the gap between FE and work. Starting with bricklaying and moving on to the other occupations in a few months, we can make real progress this year."

Picture: Apprenticeships are a great way to build your business - and you get funding as well.

Article written by Cathryn Ellis
12th February 2021


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