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Our NAW 2016 Experience

Lewis Mazdon - Monday, March 21, 2016

Going over all of the events, exhibitions, school presentations, conferences and talks that our AIM Team have attended during the past week, it’s time to close in on our first National Apprenticeship Week. There’s no doubt that 2016 has been the biggest year for apprenticeships yet, and this definitely shows through the level of interest and engagement during NAW. Attending events from both candidate and employer sides, it was important for our teams to experience as much of NAW as they possibly could.


One of the most interesting mornings was the Apprenticeships and the Levy conference at Nottingham Trent University, as this gave us a great insight into the new Levy that comes into action next April and how it’s going to affect companies and the structure of apprenticeships through all levels. Expressed as the new ‘tax’ to fund the 2020 Vision government project, it was great to hear from those who had been through the trailblazer programme themselves, explaining “how easy it was to explain and tailor to your own employee needs.” ­ Stephanie May, Boots.

During the Q&A discussion, Deans from the university and SFA government officials made it clear about the new levy processes and how it will benefit small localised organisations as well as those larger, looking to create higher­standard degree­level programmes. One of the main objectives is to be able to acquire every workforce to have 2.3% of their employees hired as apprentices. ­ Gareth Thomas, Skills and Employment support. This will increase a great return on investment for companies and support the quality of apprenticeships that are provided.

On the school's front, our team did a great job in visiting over double the amount we usually visit a week, hitting a new target of 15 schools in just 5 days, reaching more than 4,000 students. Focusing on the level and amount of apprenticeship information available to students and why it matters that students are aware of allthe opportunities that are on offer, instead of just A­Levels and University. It’s our job to make sure the students we meet are as prepared as they can be for the world of work, whether that be through a presentation, workshop, one­to­one or helping them at every step of their application until they have secured the ideal apprenticeship that suits them and the organisation alike.

Nearer the end of the week our Recruitment and Marketing Assistant, Daisy, was one of the many young guest speakers attending the FE Week conference sharing her apprenticeship experiences, and the knowledge and information she has gained along the way. Breaking the social barriers of apprenticeships and sharing various insights on the value of apprenticeships and how they can help candidates, sent our Twitter into a frenzy with companies coming together, exchanging feedback and sharing contacts. Its events like these that create great platforms for organisations to build the foundations for partnerships­ similar to the one AIM has with YEUK­creating stronger connections to build awareness and support within the apprenticeship industry.

Overall our first NAW has most certainly been a success and we’re looking forward to the new opportunities ahead, from the new programme structure of apprenticeships to new partnerships that will be announced VERY SOON!

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