Celebrating is one of the four pillars underpinning the Apprenticeships Ambassador Network. Every year we all visibly celebrate new starts, career progressions, completions and graduations. We celebrate apprentices and employers winning awards, we celebrate examples of high-quality apprenticeship experiences – and more!
If you are thinking of hiring an apprentice or upskilling one of your existing team with an apprenticeship, the following may help inspire you! And to help you get started, there are support services here and financial incentives here.
Progressing from Pre-Apprenticeships
Trial an entry-level work placement trainee and you have the opportunity to progress them onto a Level 2 Apprenticeship on completion.
- Traineeship – This is a skills development programme for young people based on a minimum 6-week work experience placement. The work is usually unpaid, but financial incentives are available for employers.
- Read more here.
- List of Traineeship providers here.
- Kickstart – This scheme pays for young people to be in work for 6-months who are otherwise at risk of long-term unemployment. Businesses are providing potentially life-changing opportunities to help young people to start a new career.
- Read more here.
- List of Kickstart Gateways here.
- Work Experience – This generic term typically applies to young people – often still in school – who are offered short-term experience of the workplace. However, it can also be beneficial for Career Changers wishing to trial a new industry sector or job role. Unlike the other Pre-Apprenticeship pathways, work experience can usually be arranged directly between the employer and the volunteer.
Progressing onto Higher and Degree Apprenticeships
Many higher and degree apprenticeships are used to upskill senior employees within a business. Therefore, it is particularly exciting to be able to celebrate when one of the following progress onto a Level 4, 5 or 6 apprenticeship.
- Existing apprentice – Typically level 3 and can be any age.
- T-Level student – Each T-Level is a 2-year technical education course equivalent to 3 A-Levels in a specialist subject, such as Digital. Students spend 45-days (315-hours) in the workplace during the course, and there are financial incentives available for employers to offer industry placements.
- Read more here and here.
- List of approved T-Level training providers here.
Ensuring a high-quality apprenticeship experience
There are many ways in which to create a high-quality experience for apprentices. Examples include:
- Disability confident
- Great communication throughout
- Policies and procedures
- Health and safety
- IT set-up
- Ongoing support
- Flexibility – e.g., work-life balance
- Attending provider meetings
- Extra-curricular activities
- Leadership opportunities
- Public speaking and confidence-building
Other examples of a high-quality apprenticeship experience include celebrating completions (below) and entering awards (below).
On completion, each Apprentice undertakes an End Point Assessment (EPA), and typically their college, university or training provider will then publicly celebrate their graduation. However, we try to encourage employers to also celebrate this fantastic achievement, whether the Apprentice is progressing on to another apprenticeship or joining the business as a full-time employee. Ways to celebrate might include:
- Social media – create a post with a photograph or PowerPoint slide
- Case study – especially where the apprentice has a particularly interesting or inspiring story to tell
- Special event – a meal or outing
- Presentation – and photo opportunity
Awards recognise and reward the achievements of exceptional apprentices and employers. When you have something to celebrate, why not nominate or enter one or more of your team for an award? You will be endorsing all their hard work and achievements, potentially also giving them a well-earned morale boost at the same time.
And do not underestimate the impact of an award on the business itself. Being short-listed and winning even local awards can have a significant impact on brand awareness, potentially also adding to the credibility of your product or service. The application process is rarely quick as you will need to choose your words carefully, but it could provide new insight into the business and the unique selling points which make it stand out from the competition.
There is also the benefit of earning the right to use the awards logo for the next year at least! A valuable addition to your social media and website imagery!
And what about the opportunity to create your own in-house awards, such as Apprentice of the Month?
Read more about awards here.