Sorcha Murphy, Business Development Manager at Ignite Training, celebrates the beginning of National Apprenticeship Week 2024 and reflects on this year’s theme ‘Skills for Life’.
This week marks the 17th annual National Apprenticeship Week.
For all of us in the education and skills sector, it serves as an opportunity to highlight the outstanding work and achievements of apprentices and their employers across the UK.
It’s also an important time to promote the positive impacts of investing in the power of apprenticeships for businesses.
An ever-relevant aspect of achieving this is to challenge enduring stereotypes around vocational qualifications.
No misconception is more persistent than the cliché that apprenticeships are reserved exclusively for school leavers looking to train in the traditional trades.
The onus is on apprenticeship providers to effectively communicate what apprenticeships offer in the modern day – a powerful tool for businesses in many sectors to invest in their workforce and a proactive career move for individuals.
The theme of this year’s National Apprenticeship Week is perhaps the best summary of what the apprenticeships space should aspire to: Skills for Life.
Increasingly, businesses and apprenticeship providers are embracing the notion that apprentices can and should be studied by people of all ages and career stages.
Single and multi-year vocational qualifications are commonplace across all sectors, helping individuals at different stages of their careers develop the essential skills, knowledge and behaviours required to thrive in the workplace.
And thanks to the Apprenticeship Levy, the financial incentives for businesses are more compelling than before.
In the past, apprenticeships may have been deemed too costly for some businesses, requiring significant resources to train junior members of staff.
The modern landscape, however, makes apprenticeships a cost-effective business decision to invest in continuing professional development of staff, whatever their level of seniority.
For apprentices, it is a fantastic way to invest in their professional future by using apprenticeships as a springboard for career advancement or a gateway to further study.
This is powerfully demonstrated by recent Government figures, which show that in 2022/2023, just under 50% of apprenticeship starters were aged 25 and over.
Not only are apprentices appealing to a wider age group, but more than ever before, apprenticeship providers are keenly responsive to the needs of industry.
This means offering diverse training portfolios that adequately cater for the skills and competencies that will set up apprentices and businesses for success.
At Ignite, we are proud to offer a portfolio ranging widely in length, level of qualification and skillset.
This encompasses courses relevant to any organisation regardless of industry, including key social media and digital communications skills in the Level 3 Content Creator and Level 5 Operations/ Departmental Manager qualifications.
Our offering has allowed us to foster long-lasting relationships with partners in education, sport, and even the NHS.
This National Apprenticeship Week, we hope to achieve our mission of encouraging organisations in all sectors to make the smart, strategic business decision of unlocking the power of apprenticeships.
Sorcha Murphy, Business Development Manager, Ignite Training