NAW 2014 Starts On Monday

Over the course of next week the UK will be celebrating apprenticeships and their ATG_NAW2014_270214immense contribution to companies, individuals and the overall economy. National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) will run between 3rd and 7th March and will recognise the best among apprentices and employers, at the same time seeking to raise awareness about the importance and benefits of apprenticeships.

This will be seventh year of NAW and the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) aims to achieve several things through a host of events. One objective is to raise awareness about apprenticeships and promote demand for them. And since inspiration often comes from great role models, the NAW will highlight the achievements of apprentices and employers through its annual awards. They will draw attention to the talent and skills of apprentices and their contribution to company successes. The NAS also aims to promote all levels of apprenticeships, including traineeships.

NAW 2014 will run under the theme “Great Apprenticeships.” As the NAS points out, apprentices help build “Great Businesses”, while apprenticeships create “Great Prospects.” This year’s theme reflects a desire to demonstrate that apprenticeships benefit both employers and their young trainees, opening up opportunities for business growth and career advancement.

Support from the media is particularly important for spreading the apprenticeship message. Wide media coverage will make it possible to reach more businesses and students and educate them about the benefits of apprenticeships. In addition, it will help get the word to teachers and parents, whose support is of tremendous importance for young people when they make decisions about their future.

Thames Valley based ATG Training has supported National Apprenticeship Week since its inception and next week will be at events in Oxford, Banbury, Northampton and Witney, to provide appropriate support and guidance to employers and students.

Look out for the hash tag #NAW2014 on social media platforms for news as it happens.

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Team Challenge Brings Together More Than 1,000 Apprentices

Over 1,000 apprentices grouped in more than 110 teams are taking part in the 2014APP_Logo_Col_5185 Brathay Apprentice Challenge. The third year of the Brathay Trust competition will see the nine-member teams battle for the Apprentice Team of the Year award.

The news was posted on the website of the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), which sponsors the contest. The apprentices hail from various industries and represent both leading companies and small and medium-sized enterprises. Among the high-profile employers involved in the battle are British Airways, HSBC, Nestle, PwC and Virgin Media. The respective winners in 2012 and 2013, Innovia Films and Cobham, are also taking part in the competition.

The teams will engage in various activities to raise the profile of apprenticeships, spreading the word through school visits, interviews and social media campaigns, the NAS said. Each team will also get busy on a local community project before the end of March. The names of the finalists will become known in April and they will then compete in other activities before the national finals in June.

According to Skills Minister Matthew Hancock, the diversity of the participating teams closely mirrors the diversity of apprenticeships that are now available to young people. It is also testament to the commitment of the biggest UK employers to apprenticeships, Hancock noted. It has become obvious that businesses of all sizes can benefit from hiring apprentices; in this way, they can build their own talent base by focusing on the skills they need and developing motivated, qualified workers, the minister added.

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Skills Show Provides Information On Training, Apprenticeships For Young People

The National Skills Show was held in Birmingham last week, introducing young peopleskillsshow_181113 to the opportunities available in traineeships, apprenticeships and work experience to help guide them into employment.

As well as the national show, a series of interactive events are being held across the UK, with local training providers, colleges and employers on hand to provide young people with support and advice on the best route to the career they want to pursue.

On 21st and 22nd January 2014 The Skills Show Experience will arrive in the Thames Valley region for the Oxford Careers Fest at BMW Group’s Mini Plant Oxford. ATG Training will be there to showcase our Engineering Apprenticeships and to offer advice and guidance to employers and students alike.

Matthew Hancock, skills and enterprise minister, said last week that experience is highly valuable to young people, no matter how they gain it – through paid or unpaid work – and it helps them get a job. The Skills Show supports all businesses that offer work experience and makes it easier to provide young people with opportunities.

According to the government, traineeships can provide employers with young people who are ready to work and have the knowledge and skills required to begin employment. Employers want people with experience and the qualifications necessary for particular jobs, Hancock pointed out. Good experience in the relevant business sector helps young people to secure employment or an apprenticeship, he added.

The traineeship scheme was launched in August this year and provides experience, skills and confidence for people aged between 16 and 23, allowing them to be competitive on the labour market and helping them secure a job or apprenticeship.

Traineeships last up to six months and offer work preparation training, including CV writing, preparation for interviews, support to improve maths skills or English, as well as a high-quality work experience placement.


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Boris Johnson Doubles Apprenticeship Incentive for London SMEs

London Mayor Boris Johnson aims to bolster the uptake of apprenticeships by small andATG_BorisJohnson_180613 medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the capital by doubling the grant normally available to employers recruiting an apprentice. Johnson has set aside £1.5 million for that purpose in a move that could help a thousand young people join apprenticeship programmes at London companies, has reported.

Companies taking on an apprentice typically receive an incentive payment amounting to £1,500. However, Johnson is offering SMEs £3,000 as part of his campaign to create more employment opportunities for young Londoners. Johnson recently provided further evidence of his support for apprenticeships by launching a scheme that allows apprentices to reduce their London travel costs by as much as 30%.

As a result of Johnson’s work with the National Apprenticeship Service, the number of apprenticeships created in the capital since 2010 has exceeded 100,000. The mayor has set himself the goal of lifting that number to 250,000 by the end of 2016.

Commenting on the latest initiative, Johnson pointed out that SMEs were the backbone of London’s economy and a key provider of employment opportunities for local young people. Businesses that have recruited apprentices are already aware of the benefits to be had, including a boost to profitability. The aim is to encourage more companies to join the apprenticeship push. The latest incentive is targeted at SMEs, and business owners from all over London should grab the opportunity it presents. As they reap the benefits associated with apprentices, local SMEs will also help drive the wider London economy, Johnson added.

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UK Commission for Employment and Skills Calls For Tax Breaks As Means Of Spurring Apprenticeship Uptake

The value of apprenticeships is widely recognised but they are yet to become mainstream.ATG_accounts_060613 This, however, needs to happen if the UK wants to ensure its future growth and promote job creation. Through apprenticeships, the country gets the skills it needs while young people get the opportunity to start their journey towards a rewarding career. However, the government needs to provide more incentives to encourage greater apprentice recruitment by companies and tax breaks would be a step in the right direction, according to Scott Johnson, commissioner at the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).

In an article published on Wednesday in the International Business Times, Johnson declared himself fully supportive of the funding reforms recommended by Doug Richard in his review of apprenticeships. The idea is to give the funds directly to employers, putting them in a position to choose apprenticeship programmes that meet their particular skills needs. Delivering this change through the tax system would create new opportunities for young Britons and pave their way to mainstream employment. In the case of employers, such reforms would result in a more accessible apprenticeship system for enterprises of any size. The ultimate beneficiary would be the wider UK economy as more jobs are created, businesses prosper and future skill needs are taken care of.

Johnson, himself a small business owner, went on to add that he strongly supported apprenticeships and all training programmes that kept the end goal firmly in sight. That goal is to provide people and companies with the necessary tools to excel. The great thing about apprenticeships is that they deliver truly unique solutions driven by industry needs, Johnson added.

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Potential Apprentices To Get Help From New Search Tool

Young Britons looking to enter vocational training will have their quest for opportunities madeATG_youngperson_240513 easier by an online search facility that the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) is currently developing, FE Week has reported.

The announcement was made on Tuesday by Vic Grimes, NAS apprenticeship director for London and the South East. Addressing the audience at a training provider forum, Grimes said that the service would go live soon, offering a database of providers and available apprenticeships.

The search tool comes in response to the Holt Review conducted last year. Undertaken by entrepreneur Jason Holt, it made a number of recommendations designed to ease access to apprenticeships. Among those recommendations was the development of an online search facility allowing employers to find quality training providers. This was suggested as part of a broader aim to facilitate the entry of small companies to the apprenticeship arena. With a database of providers and opportunities readily available for search, young people considering the apprenticeship route will be greatly assisted in their undertaking.

Grimes went on to tell his audience that the government had “huge ambitions” with regard to apprenticeships. Last year the number of apprenticeship starts reached 500,000 and the goal is to have that lifted to 520,000 this year. The coalition is betting heavily on apprenticeships, putting them at the centre of its economic growth strategy. The plan is to support 3.8 million apprenticeships over the decade ahead, which is expected to deliver huge benefits to the UK economy. According to recent research, the gain will amount to £3.4 billion, Grimes pointed out.

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IET Launches New Apprentice Award

Later this year, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) will celebrate

ATG Apprentices awards

ATG Apprentices awards

the contribution of apprentices and technicians to the advancement of the engineering and technology sectors. This will be done through the newly launched IET Apprentice and Technician of the Year Awards. The winners will be announced on 20 November during the IET Achievement Awards Ceremony. Those wishing to compete for the honour have until the end of this month to submit their applications.

In the case of apprentices, the award will go either to an individual or a team comprising up to five apprentices. One condition is that the person or people need to be in at least their second year of an apprenticeship scheme approved by the IET. The applicants also need to be progressing well on their road to apprenticeship qualifications and to have contributed significantly to the business of their employer or area. This contribution will be documented in a report that has to accompany the application. Candidates also have to provide an endorsement statement from their employer or scheme coordinator.

The prize combines a certificate, a cash payment of £1,000 and two years’ free IET membership. If the apprenticeship award goes to a team, the cash prize should be shared equally among the apprentices.

ATG_award_160513The IET will also honour exceptional contributions and achievements by technicians. Nominations will be made in two categories: “Technician of the Year” and “Armed Forces Technician of the Year.” To be eligible, applicants in the second category must be serving members of the UK Armed Forces.

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NAS Taps Young Digital Talent To Promote Apprenticeship Agenda

Technology plays a central role in young people’s lives and the National Apprenticeship

Facebook login page

Facebook login page

Service (NAS) plans to make the most of this. Through the freshly launched “Can you hack it as an apprentice” design challenge, the NAS will kill two birds with one stone: bringing apprenticeships to the attention of more young people while giving young people themselves the chance to demonstrate their creative potential.

The competition will involve the design and development of a Facebook app or game, the plan being to have the prototype ready for launch in late summer. The five best ideas will be shortlisted and each developer will get £3,000 to bring their design to a prototype beta stage. Once testing is done, the winning developer will be granted another £10,000 to complete his or her work. The NAS will launch the product on its Facebook page in August. The competition is open to developers aged between 16 and 24 and entry forms must be submitted by 24 May 2013.

With the help of the new app or game, the NAS is aiming to increase awareness of apprenticeships and thus boost the number of young Britons entering vocational training. The initiative also seeks to address employer demands for high quality of apprenticeship applications.

The NAS has chosen to break with tradition, which would have seen the development task assigned to a creative agency. It said that by opting for an alternative course of action, the organisation is giving young people the chance to spread their creative wings and deliver a product for their peers.

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Finalists For Brathay Apprentice Challenge Announced

The Brathay Trust charity has shortlisted the finalists for this year’s Brathay Apprentice

Successful ATG Training Apprentices

Successful ATG Training Apprentices

Challenge, which seeks the best apprenticeship team in the UK. The eight finalists were selected among 800 individual apprentices from 90 apprenticeship employers, training providers and colleges from across the country.

The finalists were announced by skills minister Matthew Hancock and include Broadland Council Training Services (BCTS), a Norfolk-based team of apprentices from local small businesses, as well as Burnley Borough Council, last year’s winners aerospace company Cobham, Cumbria-based packaging manufacturer Innovia Films, Norwich facilities management firm Norse Group, Plymouth City Council and Unilever.

Over the past two months, applicants took part in more than 60 community projects and 280 school visits to educate young people about the benefits of being an apprentice for a person’s career development and qualifications.

The Brathay Apprentice Challenge is supported by the National Apprenticeship Service and aims to find the best apprentices in terms of non-technical work skills and personal attributes. The shortlisted finalists will take part in further fundraising and awareness raising activities in May before the winner is announced at the final event, which will be held at Brathay Trust’s headquarters in Windermere on 10-12 June.

Matthew Hancock commented that all apprentices that participated in the Challenge this year have demonstrated the remarkable ambition and dedication they deliver to their employers on a daily basis. The selected finalists can be a real inspiration to young people who are thinking of becoming apprentices, he added.

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Employer Event for companies seeking Apprentices

Employer Event Collage

Following on from the high profile National Apprenticeship Week, ATG Training held an employer event on 16th April.

24 employers attended with several taking the opportunity to discuss their recruitment requirements for this year. With so many high profile companies seeking to add to their workforce with new #Apprentices this year it pays to register on  to be kept informed of the latest opportunities as they arise.

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