NAA Skills Update: National Apprenticeship Week and Engaging with Schools
11th to 15th March 2013 was National Apprenticeship Week, the annual event which celebrates the positive impact apprenticeships have on individuals and businesses alike.
Regular readers of the Skills article in the NAA’s newsletter might be forgiven for thinking that in ‘Susan World’ every week is Apprentice Week, but even the strongest exponents of apprenticeships sometimes need a reminder to raise their profile at every opportunity.
In the course of my work for the NAA I sometimes meet employers who are not in a position to recruit apprentices at present. These employers typically have a small workforce and, due to the pressures and uncertainties facing many suppliers in today’s automotive industry, even though they would welcome the opportunity to recruit and develop someone through a structured framework, they do not feel confident that they can offer the support and long-term commitment an apprentice would deserve.
But even though we are not all in a position to recruit apprentices at present, there is nothing to stop those of us who appreciate their benefits from shouting it from the rooftops.
Many among you will yourselves be ex-apprentices or you might have a key member of staff who started his/her working life as an apprentice, so why not share your own experience with others?
In December 2012 I was pleased to sign the Cheshire & Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership’s Apprenticeship Promise on behalf of the NAA. Although Cheshire & Warrington’s ultimate aim is to encourage employers to recruit as many apprentices as possible, they are taking a refreshingly broad approach to the task by asking all companies and organisations with an interest in apprenticeships to pledge their support however they can. Hence, the NAA has pleased to make a commitment to:
- Publicise apprenticeships at events with others such as business-to-business events or marketing events
- Participate in events and activities to encourage young people to apply for apprenticeships
- Support and mentor employers who are recruiting apprentices for the first time
So we don’t necessarily have to employ apprentices to be able to endorse them and perhaps we can all do a bit more to promote them.
And on the subject of apprentices, a useful tool to help with recruitment is working with schools to educate young people on the opportunities available in the automotive sector and specifically within your company. However, some employers are unsure how to go about engaging with their local schools and the different ways and levels to which they can engage, so Autohub is producing a leaflet to support employers and schools alike which will be mailed out in April.
If you would like to reserve a copy of the leaflet or would like to discuss engagement with schools in more detail, please let me know.
And if you are based in Cheshire & Warrington and would like to find out more about the Apprenticeship Promise, please visit the website at: http://www.candwlep.co.uk/current-activities/the-apprenticeship-promise
Project Manager, Autohub