Join SW-YAAN

Signposting and Storytelling are two of the four pillars underpinning the Apprenticeships Ambassadors Network (AAN). Here we show you how and why to join the Apprentice Ambassadors.

The Young Apprentice Ambassador Network (YAAN) is closely integrated with the Apprenticeships Ambassadors Network (AAN).  Both are voluntary organisations funded by the Department for Education and work directly together to support a regional business plan. The AAN seek to engage with employers, whilst the YAAN seek to inspire and inform future apprentices. Read more about the Apprentice Ambassadors here.

What is the YAAN?

The Young Apprentice Ambassador Network (YAAN) is a community of current and former apprentices. There are hundreds of Apprentice Ambassadors across England, all of whom work in a wide range of roles and typically on a variety of apprenticeship programmes.

What do Apprentice Ambassadors do?

Apprentice Ambassadors volunteer their time and use their own positive apprenticeship experience as a powerful tool to inspire and inform others to consider an apprenticeship career path.

The Apprentice Ambassador role includes:

  • live and virtual presentations at schools or colleges
  • attending and speaking to people at career events
  • supporting mock assessment centre workshops
  • participating in social media campaigns
  • sharing experiences using blogs, videos and formal case studies

Apprentice Ambassadors share their personal experiences with young people, their parents, carers and teachers, through a variety of events, live and online. Read more here.

And use social media to connect with and inspire a range of audiences by sharing the benefits of being an apprentice and a member of the YAAN.  Read more here.

What is the SW-YAAN?

Apprentice Ambassadors are encouraged to join a regional network as well as the national YAAN.

There are 9 local networks, each made up of sub-regions and chaired by an elected YAAN member.  The SW-YAAN is the network of Young Apprentice Ambassadors located in the South-West of England.  Read more about the SW-YAAN Leadership Team here.

SW-YAAN Apprentice Ambassadors are located right across the South-West, stretching from Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to Cheltenham and Gloucester in the north and to Swindon and Salisbury in the east.

Our aim is to have a sufficient number of Apprentice Ambassadors to represent the full range and level of apprenticeships in the region, to attend careers events, schools and college activities, and to tell their story and inspire future apprentices – whether online, on social media, or in-person.

Once registered with the YAAN (see below), the SW-YAAN hope to connect with you locally.  You will be joining a thriving Apprentice Ambassador Network, which forms part of SWAAN, the umbrella network comprising also Employer and Partner Ambassadors.  Read more here.

How much time is required?

By registering online to become a YAAN ambassador, you agree to:

  • join your local/regional network – SW-YAAN
  • join/participate in training session(s) provided by the Education and Skills Funding Agency
  • be a member for at least 1 year
  • volunteer approximately 0.5 days per month/6 events or activities per year
  • promote the array of apprenticeship options available*

It is therefore really important that your line manager is aware of and supports the commitment you are making.

* In the South-West, this can be achieved by working alongside the local ASK Providers. Read more here.

Why join the YAAN?

There are hundreds of Apprentice Ambassadors across England, all of whom are current or recent apprentices working in a wide range of roles.

As an Apprentice Ambassador, you will have opportunities to:

  • share your apprenticeship story to inspire others
  • boost your professional and personal skills
  • meet new people and build your network
  • participate in workshops and social media campaigns
  • access a wider training and development
  • share insights to influence and inform policy decisions
  • support and inspire a young person’s career decisions

And benefits including –

  • meeting other ambassadors and social opportunities – from time to time your Chair will organise activities where you can meet other apprentices.
  • national events or media opportunities – on occasion, there could be national opportunities that you may wish to be involved in.
  • monthly YAAN newsletter- we will keep you informed of the latest apprenticeship news through the monthly YAAN newsletter.

Apprentice Ambassadors are invited to take part in various projects and campaigns. Previous members have presented at awards ceremonies, spoken in the House of Commons, attended high profile events and more.

Join the Young Apprentice Ambassador Network and share your apprenticeship experiences to inspire and support the apprentices of tomorrow.

Read more on the attached SW-YAAN flyer for Apprentices here.

Benefits to Employers?

Employers do not need to be in the Apprenticeships Ambassador Network themselves for their apprentices to join the YAAN.

Yet the benefits gained by individual apprentices – such as confidence-building – will still be very likely of wider benefit to the business.  Read more in the attached SW-YAAN flyer for employers here.

Other employer-specific benefits from your apprentice joining the SW-YAAN include:

  • raising awareness of your organisation as a local employer
  • answering questions about specific apprenticeship roles within your organisation
  • reaching a wide catchment area
  • generating social media coverage and associated publicity

And Apprentice Ambassadors also tend to maximise opportunities to talk to young people by:

  • being invited to accompany one of the official ASK Providers* into schools
  • having been trained in writing and presenting their story
  • presenting independently at apprenticeships fairs
  • being invited to present as ‘an apprentice’ as well as when linked to a specific careers topic.

How to join the SW-YAAN?

To apply to become an Apprentice Ambassador, you will need to complete a short online application form here or email yaan.support@education.gov.uk.

Next steps –

  • Amazing Apprenticeships will coordinate your application and onboarding experience
  • At the outset, you should receive –
    • a copy of the Young Apprentice Ambassador Handbook
    • recorded training material available to all new applicants
    • PowerPoint template onto which to add your apprenticeship story
  • And you will learn about –
    • how to deliver a talk on your apprenticeship story, including a talk checklist
    • safeguarding at face-to-face events, and during online training and events
    • the ASK* Read more here.
    • marketing and social media guidelines, including the various National Apprenticeship Service channels
    • the code of conduct for Apprentice Ambassadors, including behavioural expectations to ensure all ambassadors maintain professional standards
    • how to record your apprenticeship story online, to be shared in video libraries and direct with schools
  • You can also expect an opportunity to connect with the SW-YAAN Chair – we would encourage you to get in touch and introduce yourself.

To discuss your application or the role in more detail, please contact yaan.support@education.gov.uk.

And once formally accepted, we very much look forward to welcoming you as a new Apprentice Ambassador in the South-West.  Either wait to be introduced or get in contact with us locally here.

YAAN Resources

Resources created to support current ambassadors in their role.  Apprentice Ambassadors – read more here.

*ASK – The Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge for Schools and Colleges (ASK) programme is funded by the Department for Education. Trained presenters then provide schools and colleges with free support to develop and transform how students, teachers and parents think about apprenticeships. Read more here.