News story

The 10th National Apprenticeship Week 2017 ends on a high

NAW 2017 draws to a close today, following a week of unique and exciting events to celebrate apprenticeships and their benefits to individuals, businesses and the economy.

Apprentices were invited to Number 10 for this exciting opportunity which included going inside for a tour

Today’s event saw current and ex-apprentices from across England take part in a photo call on the door step of Number 10 Downing Street – to celebrate 10 years of National Apprenticeship Week. Apprentices were invited to Number 10 for this exciting opportunity and even got to go inside for a tour. They were accompanied by Sue Husband, Director, National Apprenticeship Service, and David Hill, Apprenticeships Director, DfE.

An IBM event on Cyber Security apprenticeships also took place on the last day of National Apprenticeship Week 2017. The event included a presentation on the Cyber Security apprenticeship standard, with employer presentations and input from apprentices.

Friday’s events bring to an end the 10th annual National Apprenticeship Week 2017 – themed ‘Ladder of Opportunity’ – which started on Monday 6 March with a launch event at Barclays HQ at Canary Wharf, London. Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening MP addressed an audience of employers and apprentices at the launch event, outlining just some of the apprenticeship highlights from the last decade.

On Tuesday, a webinar ran by The Big Assembly gave 10,000 individuals taking part the opportunity to hear first-hand from apprentices, employers and the Minister for Skills, Robert Halfon.

Wednesday’s events included a visit to the House of Commons for five apprentice ambassadors from the North West and North East Young Apprentice Ambassador Networks. They met with Minister for Skills, Robert Halfon to discuss how their successful networks can be rolled out nationally.

A return trip to the House of Commons was made on Thursday, with 170 apprentices and 40 employers taking part in an ‘Apprentices take over the Commons’ event. Nus Ghani MP and chair of the Apprenticeship Diversity Network addressed the audience, alongside Minister for Skills, Robert Halfon, David Meller, chair of the National Apprenticeship Ambassador Network and chair of the Apprenticeship Delivery Board and Joe Billington, Deputy Director, National Apprenticeship Service.

Also taking place on Thursday was the unveiling of a JCB, built by 68 apprentices and 3 graduates from JCB’s Loadall Division. The build took 568 hours from design to completion and involved 775 nuts and bolts to complete. The machine will later this year be auctioned with all proceeds going to charity.

The Unipres Training Academy was formally opened on Thursday too, by Sharon Hodgson MP, Unipres Managing Director Gary Graham and Sunderland City Council deputy leader Councillor Harry Trueman. The training facility will be used to train existing staff and 100 apprentices each year – ensuring when they leave the training facility and move onto the automotive production line, they are fully trained and work ready.

As National Apprenticeship Week 2017 draws to a close, Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Robert Halfon said:

“This year’s National Apprenticeship Week has truly been one remember. Not only have we been celebrating the best of the best in apprenticeships, this government has also put skills at the heart of the Budget with £500m for new technical routes to rival A Levels.

“But National Apprenticeship Week is all about the people behind the announcements. I have met some amazing apprentices during this week of different ages and backgrounds who are inspiring, driven and on the ladder of opportunity to fulfil their potential. I want to wish every apprentice across the country the very best of luck in their future careers.”

Sue Husband, Director, National Apprenticeship Service concluded:

“This 10th annual National Apprenticeship Week has been a huge triumph. We have witnessed an array of events taking place up and down the country – some run by apprentices, some run by employers themselves – all with the common aim to showcase the brilliance of apprenticeships and the numerous job roles and sectors they are available in.

“And, the shining stars of National Apprenticeship Week 2017 have to be the apprentices themselves – they have supported the Week on social media, they have addressed audiences at events and they have showcased really well the benefits apprenticeships have brought to their professional and personal lives.”

Over 530 events took place during National Apprenticeship Week 2017 and included business breakfasts, careers fairs, opening evenings and even a five-a-side football tournament.

To find out more about National Apprenticeship Week 2017, visit our page on GOV.UK.

Published 10 March 2017