On Thursday 6 March, 10 Downing Street hosted a #madebyapprentices reception to celebrate the Apprenticeships Trailblazers the groups of employers that are leading the charge in the transformation of the apprenticeship programme. Apprentices were introduced to Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Minister for Skills and Enterprise Matthew Hancock at the event.
The event featured an impressive showcase exhibition, produced to highlight the talents of young apprentices at Barclays Bank Plc, Goldsmiths’ Company Assay Office, GSK, Jaguar Land Rover Limited, Lloyds Banking Group Plc, Mondelez International, National Grid Plc, Net Shape Technology and Reclaim Manufacture, Santander Plc and Unilever.
Business is GREAT
The GREAT Business campaign has a wealth of information for employers about hiring apprentices, and about the government support available. There are also some terrific case studies on the GREAT Business website demonstrating the vital role that apprenticeships play in the UK economy.
The Yorkshire law firm, Gordons, pioneering legal apprentices case study, shows how they are making a real contribution by starting to earn money for the firm. To date, the 10 apprentices have been able to generate £450,000-worth of fee income. The feedback from colleagues in the company is positive; the services of the 2011 intake are now much in demand. For Gordons, the apprenticeship scheme provides them with a supply of future legal talent from an entirely new source.
More than 20,000 new apprenticeships have been pledged by employers as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2014. To name just a few, Lloyds Banking Group have committed to hiring 5,000 apprentices, Greene King and Whitbread have each pledged 2,000 and EE and Mitchells & Butlers each announced 1,000 vacancies.
It’s not just big corporates that are showing their commitment to apprenticeships – 47% of the employers creating new apprenticeships are small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Smaller organisations announcing plans to take on apprentices include 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.
Earlier in the week, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:
National Apprenticeship Week is a valuable opportunity to encourage more young people and businesses to gain from the benefits.
A great selection of photos has been posted on #madebyapprentices on Pinterest - it is updated daily.