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Jamie Lawrence


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National Apprenticeship Week 2014 – round-up of content


Facts & figures:

  • The National Apprenticeship Service released research that finds almost half (44%) of businesses in the country plan to take on apprentices in the next five years. Around a third (32%) of those that plan to take on apprentices say this is because they are a core part of their growth strategy. 
  • put out a survey on the typical barriers to entry for both apprentices and companies wanting to take on apprentices: half of young people polled said pursuit of an academic career was an ‘expected’ or ‘preferred’ route. Three-quarters of tradesmen said the UK is experiencing a crisis in attracting young people into the trade industry. Over a third (38%) of women said they would consider the trade industry if there were more female role models, and 90% of tradesmen have never received an application from a young woman.
  • Just under half (47%) of employers creating new apprenticeships are small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), according to the NAS.

Company/organisation announcements:

  • Santander will connect 1500 students with small businesses through its Santander Universities internship scheme – the company is also offering 200 apprenticeships across its head office and branches in 2014.
  • TfL announced plans to – together with its suppliers – create over 300 new apprenticeship roles. The company also reiterated its scheme that gives apprentices aged 18 and over in London, and in their first year of their apprenticeship, 30% off the cost of adult Travelcards and Bus & Tram Passes. See more on the Apprentice Oyster site.
  • McDonald’s said that more than half of its current crop of managers started lift as apprentices. Over 16,000 apprentices have gained a qualification through the company’s scheme since it was launched in 2009.
  • Virgin Media will create 120 new apprenticeship opportunities – the company also said it received 63 applications for each apprenticeship in 2013.
  • Greene King and Whitbread will hire 2000 apprentices.
  • Everything Everywhere and Starbucks will hire 1000 apprentices.
  • British Telecom announced it would take on 730 apprentices over the next year.
  • The Telegraph highlighted several small companies with plans to take on apprentices: Cambridgeshire retailer Crafting Time, Kent web designers Interactive Red, London charity Lives Not Knives, Grimsby electrical contractors HYBRiD, Oldham construction firm Emanuel Whittaker and Penzance customer services company TR18 Contact.
  • Lloyds Banking Group has committed to hire 5,000 apprentices.

New schemes, developments and services:


We reached out to the National Apprenticeship Service for a comment to sum up National Apprenticeship Week 2014.

Karen Woodward, Deputy Director for Apprenticeships and Employer Policy Implementation, Skills Funding Agency, told us:

“National Apprenticeship Week 2014 has been a huge success, culminating today with the news that over 20,000 new apprenticeships have been pledged by employers around the country. This figure marks a 50% increase on last year, and demonstrates the value which apprenticeships bring in helping businesses to grow their own talent.

“Other key moments from this week include the launch of new Higher Apprenticeships in Space Engineering, Nursing and Innovation and Growth, the creation of more traineeships to help unlock young peoples’ great potential and the launch of more support for SMEs, including a new mentoring service, Apprenticemakers. These new announcements will help improve the opportunities available to employers and young people.

“Looking to the future of Apprenticeships, the Prime Minister announced the businesses involved in the second phase of the successful Apprenticeship Trailblazer programme, who will be designing new world-class apprenticeships for their sectors making them more rigorous and more responsive. This week also saw the launch of a new technical consultation into future plans to give employers direct control over the funding of external training of their apprentices so they can improve its quality and relevance. We would welcome views from all those who have an interest in the future of Apprenticeships in England; you can have your say by responding to the consultation.

“I hope employers have been inspired by the events of this week to look into how apprenticeships and traineeships could deliver for their business and help them to develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.”

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Jamie Lawrence

Insights Director

Read more from Jamie Lawrence

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