Skills for Life

Business Insights

National Apprenticeship Week 2024 takes place from 5 to 11 February, this year's theme, "Skills for Life" seems especially appropriate to apprenticeship training.

The 17th annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships, taking place across England, will showcase the impact apprenticeships can have on communities, local businesses and regional economies and how they all benefit from the impact of apprenticeships.

National Apprenticeship Week is an opportunity for employers to find out more about skills training and apprenticeships in their area, and to see how apprenticeships can help individuals develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career, and employers, develop a workforce with future ready skills.

The week also provides additional recruitment opportunities for employers with National Apprenticeship Week being a peak time for people looking for an apprenticeship. Being involved with schools, colleges and universities, means that an employer can be first in the queue to identify potential apprentices.

It is also worthwhile for employers to reach out to local universities, colleges, job centres, councils and MPs to see if any jobs fairs are scheduled during NAW that they can take part in. Working with other local employers can be a great way for secondary schools and colleges to inform their students about careers in all sectors, employers can also use these opportunities to share information about their companies with a wider audience of students and parents. Engaging employees in the recruitment process can be rewarding and inspiring for them, contributing to their professional development, helping to build communication, leadership and management skills, and strengthening their loyalty to your company. Involving team members, particularly apprentices, gives them the opportunity to tell their stories and discuss the impact of their own apprenticeship training, their progression opportunities and how they are achieving their career goals.

At any point during National Apprenticeship Week, employers who are passionate about apprenticeships and their benefits, are encouraged to host events and invite other employers, apprentices, parents and carers, training providers, colleges, universities and schools into their organisation to show how apprentices are adding real value. Whether that means a virtual tour with a current apprentice followed by a Q&A, or a drop-in session where people can ask questions and find out more about apprenticeships, there are many different and creative ways to get involved.

National Apprenticeship Week brings together everyone passionate about apprenticeships to celebrate the value, benefit and opportunity that they bring. The celebration will showcase and celebrate apprenticeship employers, training providers, assessment organisations, apprentices, parents, schools, colleges and universities. Together promoting the benefits of apprenticeships and connected skills offers, showcasing the progression opportunities, exciting new occupational standards, and lots more.

Technical education has been transformed in recent years through programmes such as apprenticeships and T Levels. NAW 2024 will encourage the wider community to consider and celebrate how technical education can help individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career, and employers to develop a workforce with future ready skills. There will also be inspiring stories of apprentices' progression – the increase in their confidence, skills, knowledge and how apprenticeships have kick-started incredible careers.

Following the success of the first ‘T Level Thursday' in 2023, the many successes of the apprenticeship and T Level programmes will be highlighted to demonstrate how they are contributing towards the wider government agenda and facilitating a coordinated national celebration across the education, skills and business sectors. Likewise, the number of apprenticeships available in digital, data, green, environmental and technology roles is increasing and developing in new and innovative areas.

National Apprenticeship Week will continue to showcase the business benefits and return on investment of hiring apprentices and how employers are using apprenticeships to fill skills gaps. This week will recognise the hard work of employers, training providers, End Point Assessment Organisations (EPAOs), ambassadors and apprentices all of whom contribute to the success of apprenticeships across the country.

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16, not in full time education and resident in the UK. All ages. All sectors. All levels. All backgrounds. The Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network (ADCN) champions diversity and encourages more people from under-represented groups, including those with disabilities, women and members of minority communities, to consider apprenticeships. The network produces resources, including an annual report, which can be shared with other employers to help them realise the benefits and take practical steps in promoting diversity through apprenticeships.

If, as an employer, you are looking to expand and upskill your workforce, think apprentice!