Nelson and Colne College Group has celebrated National Apprenticeship Week 2021 with an online showcase of employer partners, career pathways and success stories.

This year’s theme for National Apprenticeship Week was ‘Build the Future’, with a focus on how employers across the country train, retain and achieve with Apprenticeships.

The celebrations by the College Group centred on a social media takeover including the launch of a new Apprenticeship newsletter to keep applicants up-to-date, and a revamp of the Apprenticeship Guide for would-be Apprentices to map out their futures.

Employer and Apprentice case study videos were also shared, there were ‘day in the life’ diary entries by Apprentices, and #AskAnEmployer and #AskAnApprentice live Q&A sessions on Twitter.

There was also the chance to take a trip back down memory lane to look at ‘Back to the Floor’ employer visits from previous years – a staple of the College Group’s National Apprenticeship Week celebrations over many years – but that could not take place this year due to the current coronavirus restrictions.

‘The power of three’

Nelson and Colne College Group works with a wide range of employers large and small across the North West region, and currently offers 45 Apprenticeship standards and 55 frameworks. Its brand approach is focused on the power of three – a successful synergy between Apprentice, employer and the College.

Employer feedback shows that nationally 74% of businesses say Apprentices improved their service or quality, and 78% improved productivity. Additionally, statistics show that Apprenticeships pay for themselves multiple times over, with every £1 of Government investment into Apprenticeships returning between £26 and £28 to the economy.

Sufyan Khan, 20, is completing a Business Administration Apprenticeship with IMO Charity in Blackburn. He said:

“I’m really enjoying my Apprenticeship. I’ve had great support from my Trainer Assessor and I’m developing a range of skills – personal and professional.

“I’m much more independent when at work, and in general life, and my leadership and communication skills have improved working in a team.

“My presentation and planning skills are also better, and I’m much more forward thinking.”

Harriet Still, 22, is completing a Teaching Assistant Apprenticeship at Sir Tom Finney Community High School in Preston. She said:

“Thanks to my Apprenticeship I have gained so much personal confidence and feel that I have found my vocation working in Special Needs Education.

“In terms of skills related to my role, I have taken part in a range of different training courses to widen my knowledge and expertise, including lifting and handling, how to administer medication and feeding techniques.

“My communication skills have also improved, and my goal is to continue learning and eventually become a teacher.”

Ryan Parker, 18, who is completing an IT Apprenticeship at Seriun in Barrowford, said:

“My Apprenticeship is developing the skills I need for the Digital sector and a career in IT.

“I’m problem solving by fixing issues that come in through our ticket system, and this also involves taking up more of a customer facing role speaking to clients up and down the country to resolve the situation. My confidence and communication skills have definitely improved as a result of this.

“I’ve also had experience of hardware rebuilding and this has furthered my knowledge in this area – your technical knowledge comes with experience.”

Principal and CEO of Nelson and Colne College Group Amanda Melton CBE said:

“The positive impact that Apprentices have on the economy and the businesses that they work for is there for all to see. I am in no doubt that Apprenticeships are going to be imperative to the country’s fortunes as we rebuild post-pandemic.

“National Apprenticeship Week is always a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of Apprentices, and especially so this year, with many who have been able to continue working showing resilience, adaptability and commitment during the pandemic in whatever business or sector they are in.

“Finding your feet in the working world, learning your trade, developing new skills and trying to complete the qualification aspect to your Apprenticeship must have been incredibly demanding for Apprentices in the last 12 months, so it is only right we recognise these significant challenges alongside the many achievements.”

Following the extension of the employer incentive by the Government, employers who take on a new Apprentice before 31 March 2021 could receive up to £3,000 in total.

Nelson and Colne College Group offers Apprenticeships across a wide range of sectors and is number one in Lancashire for 16-18 Advanced Apprenticeship timely achievement, according to the latest Government data.

It is also number one in the county for employer satisfaction, based on the latest FE Choices Employer Survey.

For more information about Apprenticeships with Nelson and Colne College Group, please contact the Apprenticeship Team today at: apprenticeships@nelsongroup.ac.uk

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