A Look Back At NAW 2014: The Biggest Success So Far

The National Apprenticeship Service has expressed its gratitude to all the people andATG_apprentice_130314 organisations that helped make National Apprenticeship Week 2014 a resounding success. The seventh annual celebration ran under the theme “Great Apprenticeships,” with more than 1,100 events showcasing the benefits of apprenticeships for businesses, individuals and the national economy.

Skills Funding Agency chief executive Barbara Spicer said that NAW 2014 had turned into the most successful one so far. It highlighted the extraordinary achievements of both apprentices and employers and provided inspiration for more people and organisations. In a clear sign that apprenticeships are steadily growing in popularity, NAW 2014 wrapped up with the promise of more than 20,000 new apprentice positions. Compared to the commitments made last year, this represents an increase of over 40%. Even more encouraging is the fact that 47% of these positions were pledged by small and medium-sized enterprises.

Through social networks, Twitter in particular, word of NAW 2014 was spread by a number of very high-profile individuals. The campaign received more than 57,000 mentions on Twitter, getting support from the likes of Prime Minister David Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson.

In a fitting finale for the grand celebration, the last day of NAW 2014 saw the Royal Opera House in London become the stage for the International Apprenticeships Conference. The aim of this event was to discuss the future of apprenticeships and to exchange ideas. Given the increasingly globalised economy, the participants examined trends unfolding on a global scale, with discussions centred on worldwide developments and apprenticeship opportunities created in emerging economies.

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NAW 2014 Concludes With Promise Of 20,000+ New Apprentice Positions

National Apprenticeship Week 2014 was a welcome reminder of the tremendous ATG_NAW2014_110314importance of vocational training to businesses, individuals and the economy as a whole. It also highlighted the growing popularity of apprenticeships among companies of all sizes, with employers pledging to create over 20,000 new positions for young people interested in learning on the job and earning money at the same time.

Hundreds of UK firms took the opportunity to unveil plans for apprentice recruitment. Some big companies have committed to creating thousands of new apprentice positions: Lloyds Banking Group, for example, pledged to recruit 5,000 apprentices, while Greene King and Whitbread each announced plans to create 2,000 positions. Other big enterprises making a commitment to apprenticeships included Mitchells & Butlers, Starbucks, EE, Virgin Media and BT. Perhaps even more encouraging is the fact that small and medium-sized enterprises are embracing apprenticeships: 47% of the businesses intent on recruiting apprentices are within that sector.

Commenting on the positive news, Business Secretary Vince Cable said that the government was steadily obliterating the “damaging divide” between vocational training and academic learning. Support for apprenticeships has become a top government priority and two million apprenticeships are set to be created over the course of this parliament.

Cable went on to add that the huge success of National Apprenticeship Week 2014 had confirmed the growing importance of apprenticeships for UK business. It is estimated that apprentices are already making a £1.8 billion contribution to the national economy and the new employer commitments will allow thousands of young Britons to benefit from the career opportunities created by vocational training and help UK companies grow in the process, Cable concluded.

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20% Of SMEs Plan Apprentice Recruitment Within 12 Months

It is encouraging during National Apprenticeship Week to see the results of a new studyATG_new-apprentice_040314 among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) concerning their apprenticeship plans. According to the research, 20% of SMEs intend to take on at least one apprentice in the 12 months ahead, while 39% plan to make apprenticeships part of their strategy within five years, Real Business reports.

Conducted by the Institute of Commercial Management, the poll also revealed that 29% of SMEs see apprentice take-up as part of their core growth strategy. In a sign that apprenticeships are becoming more popular, nearly 50% of SMEs said they were now more likely to create apprenticeship positions than two years ago. Moreover, 33% stated that they were ready to take on apprentices because employing them had become easier.

Commenting on the research results, Business Secretary Vince Cable said it was great to see the value of apprenticeships being increasingly recognised by employers. Businesses of all sizes have come to regard apprentices as very important and valued members of their staff.

Cable went on to add that he was immensely proud of the work the current government had done in promoting apprenticeships and the resulting surge in apprentice employment. A key part of the government’s strategy is support for SMEs so it is particularly good to see that the grants made available are spurring apprenticeships in this sector. Apprentice recruitment has now come to be considered a vital element of sustainable growth strategies, Cable concluded.

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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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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 www.atgapprenticeships.com  to be kept informed of the latest opportunities as they arise.

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Survey Reveals Importance Of Informing Young People About Apprenticeship Option

This year’s National Apprenticeship Week is now over but the insights, recommendations and decisions that emerged during those five days will shape apprenticeship policies for years to come. Much was said about the benefits apprenticeships deliver for employers and trainees, as well as the economy in general. But it was also acknowledged that far too little information reaches young Britons, leaving them unaware of the full range of choices after graduating from school. The need to get schools and teachers more involved in spreading the word was highlighted by the findings of a survey conducted by NotGoingToUni, the website dedicated to providing career resources and advice to school and college leavers.

The poll included 1,774 university graduates who had completed their studies in the past couple of years. NotGoingToUni aimed to find out how they had come to choose university over an apprenticeship. As it turned out, there was not much of a choice since 76% said they were not informed about vocational training as an alternative.

Had this information been available, 54% of those respondents would have opted for an apprenticeship instead of taking the academic route, NotGoingToUni established. Asked why, 77% declared that it would have kept them out of debt, while 61% stated that an apprenticeship would have given them a much better standing in their current place of employment. In addition, 39% said they would not have had to deal with the same level of stress. A stark reminder of the importance of choice was the finding that 31% of the respondents now hold jobs in an industry that has nothing to do with their degree. It is not surprising, then, that 98% stood firmly behind the idea that all secondary schools, colleges and career advisers should have an obligation to make the apprenticeship alternative known to young people.


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NAW 2013 Concludes With Employers’ Pledge To Recruit Over 13,600 Apprentices

Apprenticeships were in the news in England all last week as the country paid tribute to apprentices, employers and training providers. The sixth annual National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) raised the bar for future years, becoming the most successful campaign to date, the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) has announced. Almost 900 events were staged and the media coverage received by NAW 2013 was unprecedented. More importantly, employers around the country have committed to recruiting more than 13,600 apprenticeships, not counting the 10,000 positions announced by Barclays under its Bridges Into Work programme.

For some companies, taking on apprentices will be a first and they are starting out modestly with a single recruit. Others will be bringing in hundreds of apprentices, a notable example being EE and its 500 apprentice positions. There is also British Airways with 200 vacancies and Ladbrokes with its announcement of at least 200 apprentice positions.

Commenting on the news, Skills Minister Matthew Hancock pointed out that apprenticeships provide a boon for employers and the wider economy, as well as creating opportunities for young Britons. One benefit for companies is the ability to build up their talent base, using apprenticeships to develop a skilled and motivated workforce.

Hancock stated further that it was the government’s ambition to raise the profile of apprenticeships to the point where they become as desirable for you

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UK Government Plans To Put Apprenticeship Design In Employers’ Hands #NAW2013

The UK government announced yesterday that it had launched a consultation on its plans to overhaul the apprenticeship system. The proposals have been formulated in response to the independent review carried out last year by Doug Richard. At the heart of the government’s plan is the idea to put employers in charge, more specifically allow them to set their own standards and qualifications for apprenticeships. In this way, apprenticeships would be tailored to specific skill needs and would realise their full potential as economic drivers, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said.

Richard published his report last November, calling for greater quality of apprenticeships and a stronger focus on employer needs. According to the findings of the review, many companies were reluctant to take on trainees because they thought apprenticeships were not designed with their specific requirements in mind. Considering the benefits apprenticeships offer for all parties involved, it is vital that all barriers be removed so that companies can embrace vocational training wholeheartedly and thus ensure their future success.

Clegg described apprenticeships as a core element in the government’s strategy to strengthen the UK economy. Apprenticeships provide employers with the skilled workforce they need to operate competitively and profitably in the global market. For young people, vocational training can be the stepping stone to their dream job.

The deputy PM went on to add that most companies reported higher productivity after taking on apprentices, so it is crucial to have training programmes that address employers’ specific needs. This can be achieved by allowing businesses to design their own set of qualifications and select a training provider rather than adopt a one-size-fits-all approach, which is bad for both employers and apprentices, Clegg said.

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Former ATG Apprentice Andy Neate Makes It Into Hall Of Fame

At the age of 16, many people have no clear idea of what they want to do in life. It is possible that Andy Neate had no idea as well, but the Aylesbury lad has come a long way since then. While many people will know him as a BTCC driver, Andy is in the focus this week for his remarkable achievements as an engineer. The seeds of that success were sown when he left school at 16 and started an engineering apprenticeship with ATG Training. Andy is now chief technology officer of Ceravision and the proud inventor of the ground-breaking high efficiency plasma (HEP) technology. He is also among the inductees to the Apprenticeship Hall of Fame, sharing the honour with a group of successful Britons whose glittering careers began with apprenticeships, IP Tech Race Engineering reports.

Andy is in the company of former apprentices like celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay, Olympic gold medal winner Rebecca Adlington, gardening expert and TV presenter Alan Titchmarsh and Mercedes Formula One team principal Ross Brawn. This eclectic mix reflects the diverse opportunities and enormous potential of apprenticeships as a career starting point.

Andy firmly believes that his resounding success as an engineer is rooted in his beginnings as an electronics apprentice. He does not believe he would be in his present position without the support and guidance received during his training. Andy has remained a staunch advocate of apprenticeships and will continue to promote this career route. As a former apprentice and a current employer, he will bring his experience to bear as patron of a national engineering apprenticeship organisation that is expected to launch this summer.

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Apprenticeships To Give UK Economy £3.4bn Annual Boost By 2022

National Apprenticeship Week (#NAW2013) is in full swing and a newly published report comes as a reminder of how important apprenticeships are for UK companies and the economy as a whole. According to estimates by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), the UK economy stands to make net productivity gains of £3.4 billion annually by 2022.

The CEBR report, which is available on the National Apprenticeship Service website, was released on Monday to coincide with the start of the sixth annual National Apprenticeship Week. The independent economics consultancy has come up with the figure after estimating the productivity gains from 3.8 million apprentices who will complete their training in the decade ahead.

According to the publication, the average productivity contribution of an apprenticeship completer amounts to £214 weekly. The CEBR forecasts that 260,000 apprenticeships will be completed in 2012/2013 and the number will reach 480,000 by 2021/2022. The greatest beneficiaries are companies operating in the engineering and manufacturing sectors, where weekly productivity gains are estimated at £414 for each former apprentice. The annual number of completed apprenticeships in these sectors will grow from 38,000 to 81,000 between 2012/2013 and 2021/2022.

Charles Davis, CEBR head of macroeconomics, pointed out that the research left no doubt about the importance of apprenticeships to UK economic growth. Comments to that effect were also made by Business Secretary Vince Cable, who stated that the report gave a clear indication of the benefits apprenticeships deliver for businesses, individuals and the wider economy. Cable added that as part of its drive to make vocational training more accessible, the government is offering a £1,500 cash grant to small and medium-sized enterprises that recruit an apprentice aged under 24. National Apprenticeship Week is an excellent opportunity to make more employers aware that apprentices make a significant contribution to company skillsets and productivity, Cable said.

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