This week it is National Apprenticeship Week! Every year in early March, employers from all over the UK celebrate their apprentices. Apprentices allow employers to train up their ‘workforce for the future’. With technology and business changing so rapidly, it’s a great scheme allowing blended learning – at college or with an apprenticeship provider, mixed with ‘on the job’ training with a mentor assigned to them.
I am a proud supporter of apprenticeships. In the last five years I have recruited and trained 5 apprentices. One of our apprentices is now responsible for all of our IT. This includes our servers, desktop PCs, laptops, network and security devices, and also some key client’s IT too. He’s just 23 and joined us when he was 18. He relishes the responsibility, and is always looking for the latest tech and security tools to keep our business at the leading-edge as well as being cyber-secure.
Our team consists of graduates and apprentices. Graduates bring theory and knowledge, with some skills, whereas apprentices bring youth and enthusiasm and to some extent a blank canvas. A healthy mix of both makes for some extraordinary teams and ideas!
Worcestershire has well over 10,000 apprentices. This has increased four-fold since 2011. The WLEP and the Worcestershire County Council have an ambitious target to increase this by a further 10,000 by the year 2025. Employers of all sizes and from all sectors are really backing the scheme. This is mainly due to the skills shortage in specialist sectors.
There are several really professional and capable apprenticeship training providers locally. LMPQ work with Heart of Worcestershire College for a massive variety of courses. TDM Wire Academy provides IT and Software Engineering apprentices for those businesses looking for hard-core techies. 3AAAs provide IT, Business Admin and Digital Marketing apprentices.
Help with the target, and help the young into employment. Celebrate National Apprenticeship Week by talking to one of the training providers and take on an apprentice. They really are good for business.